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U.S. frozen foods market experiencing flat to declining sales

BY Allison Cerra

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The U.S. frozen foods market has hit a rough patch, according to a new study from Packaged Facts.

Citing such factors as the nation’s slow economic recovery; changing consumer eating patterns, shopping patterns and demographics; lack of excitement in frozen foods categories and merchandising; retailers’ increased focus on the fresh foods perimeter to the detriment of center store categories; and competition from fresh foods (including prepared fresh foods), shelf-stable foods and restaurants, Packaged Facts revealed that the $44 billion market only has realized gains attributable to inflation or new products.

According to a national online survey conducted by Packaged Facts in August, a preference for fresh foods is the top reason (57%) shoppers cited for not buying frozen foods in the last three months, followed by a preference for home-cooked foods (35%). In comparison, fewer than 1-in-5 shoppers said they have not bought frozen foods because they don’t like the taste, don’t have enough freezer space at home, are not confident in frozen foods’ nutrition, or are not confident in frozen foods’ quality.

Despite the flat/declining sales, Packaged Facts publisher David Sprinkle said one way frozen food marketers are squaring off against fresh foods head on is by emphasizing freshness. This is done, Sprinkle said, by citing research studies which show that frozen produce is as nutritious, and in some cases even more nutritious, than fresh produce.

Click here for the full report.

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BodyArmor SuperDrink taps Ray Rice as partner, investor

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — BodyArmor SuperDrink announced that a National Football League star has joined its roster as a partner and investor.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice will engage in events, promotions, product testing and campaigns both regionally and nationally on behalf of BodyArmor SuperDrink, a line of nutrient enhanced sports drinks. Rice joins gridiron football stars Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, and Jason Pierre-Paul, as well as rookie baseball phenom Mike Trout.

"Ray is considered elite because he never settles for anything less than super and continues to prove he is one of the top running backs in football," BodyArmor SuperDrink founder and CEO Lance Collins said. "Ray’s game is multifaceted as he excels in all areas when on the field, just as BodyArmor SuperDrink is multifaceted and delivers all of the nutrition and hydration benefits that today’s athlete needs."

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Buddy Fruits launches fruit gel pouch

BY Allison Cerra

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Buddy Fruits has launched what it calls the first 100% fruit gel pouch to hit the market.

Buddy Fruits said its new Jiggle Gel pouch further demonstrates the company’s originality in developing products that are portable, healthy and fun to eat. Available in raspberry, strawberry and orange flavors, the vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free fruit gel is only made with fruit and fruit pectin, and touts 70 calories per pouch.

"We’ve had this product in the works for quite some time, and decided that the back-to-school season would be ideal for its release," Buddy Fruits cofunder Fabian Milon said. "Jiggle Gel is advancing traditional gel products, which typically require a bowl and a spoon, all the while making it fun again. Kids will really enjoy this product as it maintains the exciting, jiggly consistency that is often associated with gel snacks. Parents will love it, because it is 100% fruit."

Buddy Fruits can be found in more than 28,000 retailers across the United States.

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