At the onset of the pandemic, frozen foods proved a major contributor to aggregate sales across all retail channels, including grocery. Sales continued to be on fire in 2021 and 2022—despite a wide range of supply chain issues—and the momentum carried over into 2023 as supply issues improve.
Based on data from Chicago-based IRI for a 52-week period ending Jan. 1, 2023, and reflecting multi-outlets minus convenience (MULO), frozen meal dollar sales rose 9.8% and frozen meat increased 9.9%, while frozen seafood lost 2.9%.
In a 2022 Frozen Fruit and Vegetables study conducted by 210 Analytics on behalf of Arlington, Virginia-based American Frozen Food Institute, 29% of consumers expanded their freezer capacity since the pandemic, acquiring additional fridge/freezer combos or chest freezers.
Several new innovations have filled the grocery pipeline, including Digiorno Loaded Ultra-Thin Pizza. “Consumers are asking for bold flavors and more toppings on their pizza than ever before,” said Kimberly Holowiak, senior brand manager for Digiorno. “As we continue to innovate with our category-leading crust, we’re also focused on delivering delicious, flavor-forward new varieties to satisfy people’s tastes.”
Lean Cuisine introduced four Balance Bowls entrees that meet the nutrition guidelines of the Better Choices for Life program from the American Diabetes Association. “Our culinary team worked alongside nutritionists and members of the ADA to ensure that our meals are crafted with filling flavors and well-balanced ingredients that help consumers achieve their personal nutritional goals,” said Kat Amrhein, marketing manager at Lean Cuisine.
Click ahead for five recent grocery channel frozen meal and snack releases.
Digiorno (Nestle USA) is rolling out Loaded Ultra-Thin Pizza. Several SKUs include: Loaded Ultra-Thin Carnivore pizza, offering pepperoni, sausage, beef and ham, plus a bold herb seasoning; Veggie Lovers serves up peppers, onions, spinach and garlic with garlic and herb seasoning; Detroit Style Pizza is thick with double pepperoni stacked with two kinds of pepperoni; Three Meat is made with real mozzarella cheese, sausage, pepperoni and beef; and Four Cheese offers the brand’s signature sauce topped with mozzarella, parmesan, asiago and Romano cheeses.
Lean Cuisine introduced four Balance Bowls entrees that meet the nutrition guidelines of the Better Choices for Life program from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Lean Cuisine is the first company to participate in the program with full meal offerings and the first to meet the ADA’s frozen entree nutrition guidelines. Four Lean Cuisine Balance Bowls flavors include Tex-Mex Rice & Black Beans, Lemon Garlic Shrimp Stir-Fry, Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Pasta and Creamy Pasta Primavera. The four are available for an SRP of $4.49.
Two Fish Distribution Inc.
Two Fish Distribution Inc. The Two Fish Seafood Boil lineup, which offers frozen 1-pound seafood boil bags that provide quick, one-pot meals for home use, is expanding with a line that includes six flavorful combinations: shrimp, snow crab legs, mussels and crawfish, along with corn & potatoes and Chi-way sauce.
Skinny Butcher debuted plant-based Crazy Crispy Chick’n Breasts, Tenders, Nuggets and Patties, all using a vegetable fiber strain combined with pea protein, proprietary spice blend and special double breading method, with no soy or palm oil. With a double breading process, Skinny Butcher Crazy Crispy Chick’n Breasts are available for an SRP of $13.99.
Plant-based and caramelized, Beyond Steak is chopped into bite-sized tips and crisps as it sears. With 21 grams of protein per serving, Beyond Steak is low in saturated fat with zero milligrams of cholesterol per serving. Similar to all Beyond Meat products, Beyond Steak is better for the planet, made with simple, plant-based ingredients and contains zero GMOs or added antibiotics and hormones, according to the company.