Feeling Good About Frozen Foods
There is a lot to celebrate during Frozen Food Month this March. Thanks to recent product innovations, high-quality ingredients and a variety of healthful new options, frozen food sales are soaring. The pandemic has only accelerated this growth as individuals and families appreciate the long shelf-life and easy preparation benefits that frozen foods provide, and a 2020 study from the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) suggests elevated sales will continue. Here are five educational motivators to keep shoppers feeling good about frozen:
- Easy meal prep and cleanup. For individuals who may have minimal cooking skills and or time, frozen foods are a huge benefit. The peeling and chopping are done and foods just have to be heated or added to dishes. Provide a freezer stocking list for shoppers to help them always have meal options on hand. Frozen family meals, vegetable side dishes, breakfast foods, meats and seafood, and individual frozen lunch entrees will meet a wide range of quick meal solutions.
- Health and wellness options. For those individuals looking for personalized lifestyle options, there are innovative frozen products that now align with consumers’ demands for organic, plant-based, gluten-free, and more. And for the many shoppers trying to manage their weight, individual frozen meals have built-in portion control. Make it easy for shoppers to find the frozen foods that support their needs. LIFE CUISINE from Nestlé, for example, offers chef-inspired recipes that range from high protein and low carb lifestyles to gluten free and meatless in a wide variety of global flavor profiles.
- Safety and security. During the pandemic consumers experienced food shortages that left them uncertain about finding the foods they wanted to feed their families. Frozen foods offer the benefit of a long shelf-life, food safety and a stocked freezer instills a sense of security. Consumers also feel confident and secure knowing that frozen foods allow them to choose from a vast selection of seasonal ingredients all year round.
- Affordable and sustainable. – Many frozen foods are perfectly-portioned so there is no waste and frozen fruits and vegetables, which stay consistently priced, can be used in amounts needed with the rest returned to the freezer. In addition, freezing technology and eco-friendly packaging keep frozen foods fresh longer, providing an extended shelf life to save waste and money. Major frozen food manufacturers like Nestlé have outlined their sustainability goals. Nestlé has committed to reducing waste, achieving net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050, and making 100% of their packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
- Manage Recipe/Meal Planning Fatigue – Frozen foods can easily be assembled into quick meals or incorporated into meal solutions using items from across the store. Provide specific menu plans using frozen foods so consumers see how many balanced options can be quickly put together. Combining frozen family entrees or fresh meat with a frozen vegetable side dish for example. Promote frozen food hacks to show healthy, flavorful new ideas with common frozen products (5 healthy ways to top a cheese pizza; quick assembly frozen ravioli lasagna; mix-ins for frozen macaroni and cheese; 5 ways to top frozen whole grain waffles). And remember, shoppers don’t tend to browse in the frozen aisles so connecting with them before they do their shopping is important. Use social media, websites, ads, and digital coupons to provide freezer case meal solutions.