Frozen Foods Warm up to Taste Buds and Sales

Feb 26, 2002

Recent improvements in technology, ingredients and packaging have raised the culinary status of frozen food. Companies from giant food conglomerates to small, specialized health food makers are developing new frozen foods — sometimes recruiting famous chefs in the process. And supermarkets, attracted by the relatively high profit margins on frozen food, are increasing freezer space to accommodate it.

Frozen food sales are rising sharply fueled by a lack of time for home cooking and in view of a weak economy making restaurants more of a luxury. Sales of frozen prepared foods reached $7.2 billion in 2001, up from $6.7 billion in 2000, according to the market research firm ACNielsen. In contrast, the number of meals eaten at restaurants declined three percent and the number of takeout meals consumed declined four percent for the year that ended in February 2001, says the market research firm NPD Group.

Moderator Comment: Does the performance of frozen foods justify the department receiving added space in stores, similar to what Albertson’s and Wal-Mart have done?

Frozen foods aren’t the cheap stereotypical TV dinners anymore. Consumers have more taste, nutrition and portion size choices than ever before and they are buying. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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