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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- March Frozen Food Month once again provided strong sales growth in the frozen food department, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) here said yesterday. Dollar sales were up 4 percent vs. the prior year during the month of March, and units increased 2.4 percent, according Information Resources, Inc. data cited by the trade association.
This year's sales were heavily influenced by Easter falling in the final week of March, NFRA noted.
Three frozen categories saw significant growth, including dinners/entrees, breakfast food, and poultry. Performance was best in the Northeast, where dollar sales increased 7.5 percent and units increased 5.5 percent vs. the prior year.
Of the 320 retail chains where IRI tracks frozen sales, 73 percent experienced frozen department sales growth, and 23 retailers had gains of 15 percent or more. The top-three-performing markets were all in Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Harrisburg/Scranton, and Pittsburgh. Each market experienced more than 8.5 percent increases.
NFRA promoted March on a national level with a three-page FSI dropped on Feb. 27 with a 37 million circulation. The $10,000 Freezer Favorites Sweepstakes generated an impressive 705,000 entries.
Display activity at the retail level was supported by March Frozen Food Month point-of-sale materials. NFRA encouraged industrywide participation with the opportunity to win a Golden Penguin Award honoring outstanding merchandising during March.
The March promotion is part of the larger "Bring Us To Your Table! Freezer Favorites" public relations/marketing campaign, which NFRA launched to change consumer perceptions about frozen foods. All elements of the promotion incorporate the Bring Us To Your Table! logo and showcase the taste and quality aspects of frozen foods through appetite-appealing food photography.
NFRA is a non-rofit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry.