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My, How the Frozen Food Aisle has Changed

It's about time for another frozen food revolution

The Lempert Report

About 10 years ago, the frozen food aisle in most supermarkets was a wasteland, and sales were declining. A recharge was needed and companies such as Conagra took the lead in revolutionizing the offerings with ingredient and recipe updates, along with more healthier options as well as educating shoppers about what frozen foods were and were not. The effort paved the way for a deluge of new brands, many with a focus on healthier offerings, and it changed the face of the aisle and brought shoppers back to frozen foods.

Now we are about to see another frozen revolution. Arsen Avakian, former CEO of Argo Tea, has launched Cooler Screens, a company that wants to replace the glass doors in the frozen foods aisle with large digital doors that are basically “big giant iPads” programmed to display relevant information and offers to consumers when they stop to look at them.

Depending on what the customer is doing, Avakian says, along with a host of other contextual factors, a myriad of things could appear on that display. It could be a money savings offer from a brand or, more interesting to me, it could display nutritional information or dietary data that could be interactive.

Next step could well be facial recognition in which that frozen food door recognizes me—well not maybe me—but that I’m a white baby boomer and slightly overweight male, and display customized offerings based on that demographic; perhaps a Healthy Choice grilled chicken bowl?

When one looks at consumer behavior studies, the company says, one of the more consistent findings is that more than two-thirds of consumer purchases are spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment choices. That means the challenge for brands and retailers looking to make conversions is in properly capturing that moment right at the point of sale.

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