Frozen Food Market Sales Reach $22 Billion

Press Release
Feb 24, 2017
Whether it’s vegetables, pizza, dinner entrees, snacks or appetizers, the appeal of frozen foods endures despite consumer demand for fresher ingredients

Rockville (MD), February 24, 2017 — As the rising popularity of farmers markets and the locavore movement attest, fresh foods are in high demand among American consumers. As a result, popular food segments of yesteryear—namely frozen and canned products—have gotten the cold shoulder as consumers often unfairly adopted the largely inaccurate presumption that fresh foods were significantly more nutritious than frozen or canned varieties. The emergent popularity of meal kits has likewise posed a challenge to frozen foods.

Nevertheless, the frozen food market has proven to be largely resilient in the face of both the fresh food and meal kit trends. Sales have been steady, if unspectacular, since 2012, according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the brand new report Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks, 6th Edition. Packaged Facts estimates that frozen food products in the collective categories of dinners/entrées, pizza, side dishes, and appetizers/snacks had overall sales of $22 billion in 2016, almost identical to the sales total four years prior.

Packaged Facts estimates that frozen vegetables are used in three out of four U.S. households, and 60% use frozen potatoes. Just over 60% are frozen pizza consumers, with dinners as well as entrées used in about 40% to 45% of households. Likewise, more than a third of U.S. households are consumers of frozen snacks. Most encouragingly, Packaged Facts’ survey data reveal that 90% of consumers buy packaged frozen hot meal items for heating or microwaving at home, a share that is up substantially—15 percentage points—in just two years.

While convenience may be thought of as the driving factor in purchase of frozen foods, quality and healthfulness are of paramount importance, reflecting the recent reformulating and repositioning of leading brands and the growing presence of emerging brands that emphasize these qualities. This points to frozen food manufacturers’ willingness to face the thriving fresh food market head-on by making the necessary formulation and marketing adjustments to remain competitively relevant. 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.

Looking ahead, Packaged Facts also expects leading positive factors to include marketers’ continued robust investment in product innovation, with rollouts supported by strong marketing and advertising initiatives.

“Bold and unique flavors; varieties inspired by world cuisines; cleaner labels and healthier nutrition profiles; and products that accommodate special dietary concerns will drive purchases,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.

About the Report

For additional information about Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks, 6th Edition, including purchase options, the abstract, table of contents, and related reports click:

About Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through

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