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Value rules in freezer

BY Barbara White-Sax

Handheld frozen foods have grown quickly in the last two years, and Mintel expects growth to continue. U.S. retail sales are expected to top $3.8 billion 
by 2016.


The handheld breakfast segment is powering much of the category’s growth. While handheld breakfast foods comprised 26% of the total market in 2011, U.S. sales of the segment grew an impressive 40% from 2009 to 2011, and helped boost total category sales 7% during that same period. While Mintel expects the breakfast segment to post healthy gains this year, sales are likely to slow to about 10% annually until 2016, a trend that will still outpace the flat overall category growth. Mintel expects total category sales to increase only about 3% to 4% per year from 2012 to 2016.


Price is important to consumers in the handheld frozen segment, so retailers looking to maximize sales need to be sharp on their pricing. According to Mintel’s research, consumers who buy frozen handheld foods are price sensitive and responsive to couponing. A recent study from the market research firm revealed that 63% of consumers who eat frozen handheld food products buy whatever is the best value, and nearly half feel that private label is just as good as 
branded products.


Frozen snack sales also have been strong, with sales surging more than 20% between 2006 and 2011. Frozen appetizers/snack rolls is the largest segment, owning nearly 96% of the total frozen snacks market share. Innovation drove the category, but has been coming primarily from smaller players. A recent report from Mintel revealed that between 2011 and 2012, the two category leaders, General Mills and Heinz, lost both sales and market share, while Nestlé exhibited the largest increase due to the introduction of Hot 
Pockets Snackers.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Frozen Food Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Senators call on FDA to increase oversight of energy drinks

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration will review the safety of energy drinks containing such stimulants as caffeine in response to a letter from two senators.

Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the FDA had responded to letters they had been sending to the agency requesting a review of the drinks and that it would possibly take regulatory action if it found evidence of health risks. In a letter sent this month, the two requested a meeting with FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg following reports of 13 people dying following the consumption of the drink 5-Hour Energy.

"There is very clearly a lack of understanding about the health effects of energy drinks and their ingredients, especially on children and adolescents," Durbin and Blumenthal said in a statement. "[We are] glad to see that the FDA is undertaking a review, but more needs to be done and quickly. For instance, [the] FDA can and should take action now to regulate energy drinks that are marketed as beverages, like Red Bull, which has more than the standard of 71 mg of caffeine per 12 ounces [to which] beverages like Coke and Pepsi are held."

In a letter sent in September 2012, the senators asked the agency to respond to their concerns about the interaction of ingredients in energy drinks and the effects the caffeine has on children and adolescents. In an October 2012 letter, following an investigation into five deaths that occurred following the consumption of Monster energy drinks, the senators called on the FDA to identify and recommend what they called remedies for weaknesses and loopholes in the current law, accusing energy drink companies of exploiting them to avoid oversight.

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Durbin, Blumenthal ask FDA to review energy drinks quickly

BY Jason Owen

Some legislators are concerned with the way energy drinks can affect young consumers, especially in light of news reports linking several deaths with energy drink use.

Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., are urging the Food and Drug Administration to move quickly to review the safety of these drinks.

"There is very clearly a lack of understanding about the health effects of energy drinks and their ingredients, especially on children and adolescents,” Durbin and Blumenthal said in a statement Tuesday. “I am glad to see that the FDA is undertaking a review, but more needs to be done and quickly,” the senators said. “For instance, [the] FDA can and should take action now to regulate energy drinks that are marketed as beverages, like Red Bull, which has more than the standard of 71 mg of caffeine per 12 oz., [to] which beverages like Coke and Pepsi are held.”

The lawmakers have requested a meeting with FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg by year’s end to learn more about the FDA’s review.

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