HARRISBURG, Pa., March 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --Aptly timed for 'National Frozen Food Month', new media analysis undertaken by the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) showcases growth in positive frozen food content and innovation within the category. Over the past six years, NFRA and its members have invested in consumer outreach through its Real Food. Frozen PR campaign, driving consistent messaging and reinforcing many key frozen food benefits that were identified in the analysis. Growth amongst consumers and online communities identified several key themes through the analysis:
NFRA generated a major increase in year- over-year social volume and engagement through its owned and partner content
Key frozen food value messages resonated in positive earned media coverage, including convenience, lack of waste, comparable nutrition value, plus budget-friendliness
Favorable conversation around frozen foods grew in 2018 as a result of buzz about new product lines, pop-culture tie-ins, and hot grocery-store offerings
The Real Food. Frozen campaign launched in 2013, to showcase how frozen foods are created using real ingredients, chef-inspired recipes and fresh flavors. The campaign was developed to increase positive frozen food conversation and to communicate to consumers that the most versatile foods can be found in the frozen food aisle, including options for every lifestyle and every food occasion. Frozen foods offer great value, from perfectly-portioned meals to nutritious ingredients and leave nothing to waste.
Frozen food manufacturers are catering to consumer needs, with the number of wellness claims on frozen food packages increasing and driving growth in the department. For example, non-GMO claims were up 10.1%, organic claims up 9.3%, gluten-free claims 4.2% and free-from artificial colors/flavor claims up 6.3% in 2018 over the previous year***.
"Together with our members, we have been steadily reinforcing the frozen aisle as a destination for quality foods for every occasion, lifestyle and dietary need, and that frozen food is Real Food, Just Frozen," said Skip Shaw, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association. "There is so much innovation in the aisle today. Products are now aligned with new consumer dining habits and health trends, and new foods and cuisines are enticing and satisfying today's foodies. Established brands have been freshening their lineups while innovative startups have been launching new concepts, all spurring 26% of all U.S. grocery shoppers shopping the aisle more frequently, and 43% of millennials buying more frozen items*."
NFRA continues to see a shift in the conversation and changing consumer perceptions about the benefits of frozen foods. Media outlets discussed the comparable nutritional value of frozen vegetables and fruits vs. fresh and highlighted new products as a way to explore the category. Social users frequently expressed their preference for frozen meals and frozen pizzas reflecting fondly on past experiences, favorite brands, and "hacks" for personalization. Frozen pizzas, a $4.7 billion industry is up 5.2% in dollar sales in the last year and frozen vegetables are also up by the same amount***.
As consumers' eating habits are changing, they are recognizing the value and convenience of frozen foods for every meal occasion. There was a rise in dollar sales of frozen breakfast meals (up by 8.3%), breakfast sandwiches (up 3.9%), waffles (up 4.9%), smoothies (up 13%) and breakfast sausages (up 4.4%) in 2018 showcasing consumers' changing perceptions of today's frozen foods***.
*Acosta's The Future of Frozen
**Media analysis conducted by Edelman Intelligence leveraging data from the Talkwalker media analytics platform. Content matching category-specific search terms was analyzed across online news, blogs, forums, and publicly-available non-restricted social media over the last two years (from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018
***Nielsen Retail Measurement Services, Total U.S. xAOC (UPC-coded + random-weight/Non-UPC) plus Convenience (UPC-coded)
About National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. NFRA sponsors national promotions March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and June/July Ice Cream & Novelties; and provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities through its Easy Home Meals consumer website and social media properties.
SOURCE National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association