Frozen foods have been a household staple for over 60 years. As families opt to spend more time together and prepare their meals at home more often, frozen ingredients help save time, money, and the occasional grocery run. According to the American Frozen Food Institute, frozen food sales saw significant growth in 2020, and demand is expected to increase in 2021.
The food-shopping experience has changed as families are making fewer trips to the store. Households are finding creative methods to conserve meals, and frozen foods – with their long shelf life, affordability, and convenience – are at the top of the list.
Keep reading to learn why shoppers are concerned with the shelf life of their food products now more than ever and what to expect for 2021.
Fewer Grocery Shopping Trips
In previous years, the average American went grocery shopping one to two times a week. In today’s fast-paced world, though, people are choosing to outsource the task – either to cut down on trips or to avoid the grocery store altogether. Grocery delivery services such as Shipt provide personal shoppers who fulfill grocery orders and deliver them directly to the customer. In the age of convenience, grocery pickup and delivery services are the go-to method for a quick and efficient shopping experience.
Some customers use meal planning or buy their food items in bulk to decrease their weekly shopping trips. Fewer trips means more time for family and to focus on other life matters.
Food Supply Shortages
Food supply chains work hard to keep products moving while maintaining freshness, but delays are inevitable — especially in the event of a natural disaster or global pandemic.
A delay in the food supply chain can lead to out-of-stock items and create additional stress for customers. As such, more shoppers are choosing to purchase their groceries online and have them delivered to their homes instead of driving to the store only to find out an item is unavailable.
Many consumers have shifted their shopping strategies by purchasing more frozen food items than usual, and some have reported choosing frozen foods by reason of canned foods being inaccessible.
Frozen Food Trends
Food shoppers seek simple, stress-free options when planning meals for their families. Pre-packaged frozen food delivery has become popular due to the convenience of having freshly cooked food packed and delivered to your door — ready to heat and eat.
In fact, convenience is the top-rated reason why frozen foods are so popular. Frozen pizza (which, combined with prepared entrées, accounted for $9.3 billion in frozen food sales in 2019, according to Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Magazine) can be baked in the oven or cooked in the microwave as a kid-friendly option any parent can appreciate.
As parents continue to explore options for making mealtime a breeze, frozen foods will continue to reign over other food options because of their affordability and ease of preparation.
Predictions for Frozen Foods in 2021
As we move into a new year, our health and safety remain the top priority. We expect consumers will continue to seek convenience and freshness in their food choices and frozen food sales will continue to exhibit an upward trend.
Just as families will always need food to eat, frozen foods will remain the most beneficial choice for timesaving food preparation and consumption. And as technology progresses (think smart refrigerators that notify you when food items are low), we’ll see new and helpful methods for replenishing food supply come to fruition.
At Excellence Industries, we understand the impact of contending with constant change, and we are always here to help with your commercial refrigeration needs.
Contact us to learn more about navigating the future of the frozen foods industry.