HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association wrapped up a successful, first-ever Virtual Annual Convention this week – hosting more than 800 registrants from top food companies in the industry, including more than 100 retailers.
It is estimated there were more than 3,000 one-on-one business meetings held over the three-day convention period. Attendees realized many business opportunities, established and reinforced many business connections and showcased new products and services throughout the week.
NFRA Chairman Joe D'Alberto, Acosta Sales & Marketing, opened the convention addressing the Association's necessary pivot to the virtual event because of COVID-19, and recognizing the response of the overall food industry to the pandemic. "Our industry has stepped up and come together to address this crisis," he said. "We've helped consumers through this difficult time by keeping shelves stocked and supporting our employees and communities in so many ways. I'm proud to be part of an essential industry that has played such a pivotal role in keeping America healthy and strong."
The innovation on display from the frozen and refrigerated foods industry was impressive – taking center stage not only in one-on-one business meetings, but in the Convention Virtual Exhibit Hall. which featured top NFRA member companies and their latest industry innovations. A special edition of NFRA's New Products Newsletter debuted today, highlighting companies in the Convention New Product Showcase and their 60 new frozen and refrigerated products introduced to the market in recent months.
Colin Stewart, Executive Vice President, Business Intelligence, Acosta, provided insights on growth opportunities in a post-COVID world. He noted that the pandemic has affected shopper habits, supplier-retailer commerce, meals at home, online grocery pickup and delivery, trial of new products, more frozen plant-based alternatives, accelerated E-commerce and increased affinity to "Made in the USA" and local brands.
Larry Levin, Executive Vice President, Market & Shopper Intelligence, IRI, focused on what trends will shape the industry's future. Levin shared that through early October 2020, sales in the refrigerated aisle were up 16% and the frozen aisle up 24%. He noted that during the pandemic, consumers are making fewer trips and buying more during each trip, and that shoppers continue to be in "stock-up mode," buying products to last for at least two weeks. Working from home will become the norm for more Americans, and behavioral shifts are taking place in how consumers are managing health as it relates to food shopping.
Other Convention highlights included interesting insights from POLITICO journalists Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman on the latest news from the Hill, as well as perspectives on the upcoming Presidential election. NFRA announced the Golden Penguin Top Marketer Awards for excellence in merchandising for March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties promotions.
NFRA's 2021 Annual Convention will hopefully return to an in-person event and is set for October 16-19, 2021 at the Marriott Marquis in San Diego, California.
About National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA)
NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., NFRA is the sponsor of March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion, and October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October which is focused on one-on-one business meetings with trading partners. NFRA provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities at http://www.EasyHomeMeals.com. Further information available at http://www.NFRAweb.org.
SOURCE National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association