U.S. consumers increasingly turned to frozen foods when COVID-19 hit, and people found themselves at home more and in need of meal and snack help.
Frozen items increased 21% in dollars and 13.3% in units year over year, according to the Power of Frozen 2021 report by FMI—the Food Industry Association and the American Frozen Food Institute.
Within the frozen category, seafood (up 35.3%), poultry (up 34.7%) and appetizers (up 28.9%) were top performers in terms of dollar growth in 2020, but "every frozen department drove growth," said Anne-Marie Roerink, president of 210 Analytics, in an online presentation of the report's findings at AFFI-CON, the American Frozen Food Institute’s annual conference.
Click through for some new releases in frozen foods, from a new Mars ice cream bar to White Castle’s retail refresh.
Snickers Peanut Brownie Ice Cream
Snickers Peanut Brownie Ice Cream features brownie-flavored ice cream with chewy brownie bits topped with a thin layer of caramel and peanuts covered in a milk chocolate coating. The frozen novelty debuts this month in singles (2 ounces) and multipack boxes (12 ounces).
Must Love is newly rebranded nondairy ice cream, formerly on the market as Hakuna Banana and Totes Oats. Must Love offers a full line of pints and bars in two different bases: banana and oat milk. To differentiate on the packaging, each base is identified as either “Must Love Bananas” or “Must Love Oats.”
Farm Rich Sweet Onion Petals
Farm Rich’s new Sweet Onion Petals With Aussie-Style Dipping Sauce are now available in grocers nationwide and online. Sweet Onion Petals feature individual onion pieces coated in a panko breading. Each package of 24 Sweet Onion Petals includes 3 ounces of dipping sauce and sells for about $6.99 per 15-ounce carton.
Franklin Farms Plant-Based Burgers
Franklin Farms, a division of Keystone Natural Holdings, is introducing a new line of frozen plant-based burgers. The non-GMO, cholesterol-free patties are made with a combination of soy and tofu and come in a variety of flavors, including Mediterranean, Sriracha Thai Chili, Kansas City BBQ, Korean Style BBQ and Smoked Salsa Chipotle. Each patty contains 15-17 grams of plant-based protein per 2.5-ounce patty.
Outshine Simply Indulgent Bars
Outshine, producer of organic fruit bars, has launched Simply Indulgent Bars. The dairy-free frozen snack comes in four flavors: Strawberry, Mango, Chocolate and Coffee. Each bar contains 5 grams of protein, and the Coffee variety contains 20 milligrams of caffeine. A six-count, single-flavor box will be available in retailers nationwide by April 2021 for an SRP of $4.69.
White Castle Packaging Rollout
White Castle has introduced new packaging for its retail products, which includes five Slider varieties in a range of package sizes that are sold in freezer aisles. The fast-food hamburger chain began rolling out the new design on select packages in October 2020. By the end of March 2021, all retail packages will feature the contemporary design.