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For the 28th consecutive year, March National Frozen Food Month has made a strong impact on industry dollar and unit sales, according to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), which sponsors the annual promotion. This year, the program drove a 2.5 percent increase in dollar sales and a 1.1 percent increase in unit sales from last year, The Nielsen Company reported, citing statistics are for the four weeks ending March 26, 2011, vs. the four weeks ending March 27, 2010, for total U.S. food stores with $2 million and over in sales, excluding supercenters.
“This is a significant achievement for the industry,” noted NFRA president and CEO Skip Shaw. “Last year, Easter fell on April 4, and this year’s numbers are still stronger, even without those extra Easter sales.”
Further, the frozen food department surpassed total grocery sales across all departments. The total store saw a 1.7 percent increase in dollars and a -0.5 percent dip in units. The North Central Region experienced the biggest gains in the frozen department, with a 3.4 percent increase in dollars and 2.5 percent rise in units over last year.
The 2011 iteration of March Frozen Food Month featured a national FSI to a 37 million circulation, offering coupons and product shots of the 19 participating brands. A Family Caribbean Cruise Sweepstakes ran on the EasyHomeMeals.com website to boost consumer interest in the promotion. Print and radio initiatives and TV support by spokesman Mr. Food provided additional consumer and media exposure.
NFRA attributed the success of the 2011 promotion to the hundreds of manufacturers, retailers, sales agents and local associations who took part.
Harrisburg, Pa.-based NFRA is a nonprofit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. The organization sponsors the March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion and October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program, and holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October.