Frozen foods are among the fastest-growing categories in grocery, with clear indications that consumer’s affinity for frozen food will continue to grow. Busy food consumers across the globe want convenient, accessible, easily online options. So how do you meet your consumer’s needs? Use all-in-one ecommerce software to launch fast, direct-to-consumer (DTC) options.
The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and the Food Industry Association explain the influence of demand for frozen foods, including increased engagement in all categories, online shopping, and health and well-being, is making the industry unstoppable.
“Frozen foods are a pandemic powerhouse ringing in $65.1 billion in retail sales in 2020, a 21% increase compared to a year ago,” says AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor.
As consumers turned to online shopping at a record rate, the vast majority added frozen food to their carts. During 2020, 42% of households that buy frozen foods have bought frozen foods online, up from 23% just two years ago. Online frozen food sales increased 75% in 2020, with frozen dinners/entrees, meat, poultry, and seafood being the most significant online sellers.1) Seafood (+35.3%)
3) Appetizers (+28.9%)
Core frozen food consumers, defined as people who consume frozen food daily or every few days, rose from 35% in 2018 to 39% in 2020. The interest in fresh frozen also aligns with a key finding from AFFI: “Mixing fresh and frozen in the same meal is a tell-tale trait of our core frozen food consumers,” Bodor says.
AFFI explains sales continue to hold firm, and the industry has added new customers resulting in a tremendous expansion that could have long-term implications. Loyal customers are buying more and trying new items, and satisfaction remains high.
Here are five more fantastic reasons from Produce Processing and AFFI that frozen foods will continue to be on trend lists:
1) Frozen food meets the growing demand for plant-based foods. For decades frozen has been the gateway to plant-based foods and alternative meat that consumers demand.
2) Consumers are looking for immunity-boosting foods. Consumers will continue to gravitate from salmon to spinach, broccoli, to blended burger patties.
3) Frozen fits the growing demand for personalized nutrition. Whether it's fruit packs for smoothies or single-serve healthy and light lunches, the variety of single-serve items will help consumers meet their goals.
4) Frozen foods help fight cooking fatigue. After months of home cooks sampling new foods, research finds fatigue is settling in. Still, frozen foods help chefs provide simple, pre-prepped or cooked ingredients, side dishes, and entrees that feed the whole family and deliver quality time together.
5) Frozen staples offer certainty in uncertain times. While it’s unlikely we’ll see panic buying and grocery supply issues at the same level as spring 2020; the future is uncertain. Frozen foods appeal to households with their long shelf life, affordability, and convenience, which also helps reduce the frequency of shopping trips.
Acceleration into the DTC space offers substantial opportunities for frozen food manufacturers to boost growth when using a top ecommerce software system. With growing awareness of prepared food trends mixed with pandemic regulations, consumers are skipping restaurant dining and cooking fresh meals at home. The availability of high-quality frozen foods makes market growth more effortless and less prone to unfavorable fluctuation.
OSF Digital, a thought leader in commerce, suggests the top features frozen food manufacturers can implement quickly using a frozen food ecommerce platform are inventory/supply chain management, order management, sales/operations, and pricing and promotions. When it comes to providing a stable and reliable platform for merchandising and marketing, experience management, multi-site management, and location, OSF Digital confirms Salesforce Commerce Cloud dominates the market.
The ability to offer online shopping cart software for contactless payments, social integration, online ordering, and home delivery are all requirements to meet modern buyer needs and compete in the next normal. When the frozen food industry realizes they must be digital, a digital-first mindset must take precedent to survive. Frozen food leaders can open new sales channels with implementation timelines measured in weeks, not months.
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