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Report: Frozen Food Relevant Across Income Levels

Frozen foods maintain their relevance to grocery shoppers and offer benefits that meet their mealtime needs, regardless of income level, according to a joint report by the American Frozen Food Institute and The Food Industry Association.

Frozen food sales reached $74.2 billion over the last year and the core consumer audience remains steady, indicating a bright future for performance, according to the latest Power of Frozen in Retail report. In a survey of more than 1,700 consumers, respondents shared that they find value in frozen foods as total meal solutions that save them time, are easy to prepare, and meet their taste expectations.

“The Power of Frozen in Retail shows that the category retains reliable performance and draws consistent core shoppers since before 2020, creating predictability for retailers and opportunities for future success,” said AFFI president and CEO Alison Bodor, in a statement. “Frozen foods offer the complete package of solutions for today’s shoppers.”

More than one-third of shoppers (38 percent) are deemed core frozen foods consumers, defined as those who consume these foods daily or every few days. In addition to appreciating the convenience and time-savings made possible by frozen foods, core consumer reports enjoying the quality and nutrition found in the frozen food aisle.

Findings also identified that consumers turn to the frozen food aisle as they look for better-for-you products. Sixty-six percent of core consumers are more likely to believe that the frozen food department offers a wide variety of better-for-you options. Additionally, nearly 75 percent of shoppers occasionally or frequently look for better-for-you attributes when purchasing frozen foods.

“Both core consumers and the general shopper are looking for frozen foods that meet their specific lifestyle,” said Bodor. “With a range of products available in the frozen food aisle, the category is filled with options frozen at the peak of freshness and providing quality nutrition.”

Consumers also plan to continue their purchases of frozen foods into the future, with 94 percent indicating they'll buy the same or more frozen products in the coming months. 

“Frozen foods remain relevant to shoppers through product innovation, variety, and important attributes like sustainability and health and well-being. Frozen foods continue to be essential to shoppers and there is an opportunity for food retailers to apply the insights from core frozen food shoppers to other shoppers and see real gains,” said Rick Stein, VP of industry relations at FMI, in a statement.

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