Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks, 6th Edition

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Published Feb 14, 2017 | 133 Pages | Pub ID: LA15139132
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Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks, 6th Edition

Overall sales of frozen foods in the United States are flat,reflecting in part a growing consumer preference for fresh foods. Nonetheless, the market is being strengthened by robust investment in product innovation, which includes developing bold and unique flavors, varieties inspired by world cuisines, product offerings that accommodate special dietary concerns, and products with cleaner labels and healthier nutrition profiles.  Rollouts of such new products are being supported by strong marketing and advertising initiatives.

Trends & Opportunities in Frozen Foods

Among packaged food products consumed as hot meals, frozen foods are considered the most affordable and the most convenient by a substantial margin over their shelf-stable and refrigerated/fresh counterparts. However, between 2014 and 2016, frozen foods lost ground to these alternatives on all counts, including convenience, which has traditionally been thought of as the driving factor in purchase of frozen foods. But at the same time, quality and healthfulness have risen in importance, reflecting the recent reformulating and repositioning of leading brands and the growing presence of emerging brands that emphasize these qualities. In addition, convenience may play a less decisive role than might be expected, as consumers simply assume that this is a feature automatically associated with frozen meal items. 

Rollouts of new products are being supported by strong marketing and advertising initiatives. Nevertheless, Packaged Facts estimates that grocery store brands are increasing in their share of overall frozen food sales. account for 4% of total dollar sales through all outlets. In 2014, private label accounted for slightly less than 3% of overall sales. Growth is due in part to the overall trend toward higher-quality store brands and a higher opinion of them among consumers, along with the lower price points associated with store brands compared to branded equivalents.

Packaged Facts new report Frozen Foods in the U.S. projects that sales of frozen foods over the 2016-2021 period will experience a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.2%, going from over $22 billion to around $21 billion for the four key frozen food categories: Frozen Dinners/Entrées; Frozen Pizzas; Frozen Side Dishes; and Frozen Appetizers/Snacks.

Scope and Methodology

Frozen Foods in the U.S., 6th Edition covers sales through U.S. supermarkets, drugstores, mass merchandisers (Walmart, Target, Kmart, and Shopko), Sam's Club and BJ's warehouse clubs, dollar stores excluding Dollar Tree, and military commissaries. Packaged Facts’ estimates of total market size for frozen foods and the categories covered incorporate sales through all channels and outlets.

Sales and market size data sources include:
  • IRI sales tracking through U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers (including Target, Kmart, and Wal-Mart) with annual sales of $2 million or more.
  • In addition, the report draws on data from the Winter 2016 Simmons NCS Adult Study 12-Month.
  • Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey, conducted in July-August 2016 with a sample size of 2,000 U.S. adults age 18+.
The Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey and Simmons National Consumer Survey are used in conjunction to present a multi-faceted analysis of consumer behavior. Market estimates within this report were based on both public and syndicated data sources. Packaged Facts has analyzed available sales and trend data, together with information pertaining to those products that move through unmonitored outlets, to estimate the total size of the market for the products in the categories under consideration.

Information on new product introductions was derived from examination of the retail milieu and from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including company literature and annual reports. Company websites, Facebook, and Twitter pages served as sources for new advertising and marketing images and messaging.
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