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The popularity of the terms "fresh" and "healthy" among consumers is driving renewed interest in frozen foods, a category not often associated with such nutritious descriptors, according to Packaged Facts' "Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks" report.
The convenience of items in the frozen foods category, coupled with the introduction of more natural and organic frozen offerings, has weakened consumers' association between "frozen" and "unhealthy." And concerns about preservatives and other ingredients have been lessened by the assumption that if products are natural or organic, they must be more nutritious.
“Frozen foods of all kinds have been challenged in recent years as a result of the convergence of several trends, especially, but not exclusively, a growing demand for fresh products or, at least, fresher products in refrigerated rather than frozen form," said Packaged Facts Research Director David Sprinkle. "Nevertheless, frozen food products still have much to offer."
On the heels of these trends, Packaged Facts estimates that sales of frozen foods such as dinners/entrees, pizzas, side dishes, and appetizers/snacks will increase from $22 billion in 2014 to $23 billion in 2019. This growth is predicated, however, on marketers' ability to adapt to changing consumer needs, including variety, healthier foods and better pricing.
Packaged Facts is a division of Rockville, Md.-based MarketResearch.com.