Top 150 Processors / Industry News

Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors: Frozen Food Aisles Heat up the Bottom Line

For some consumers, frozen foods may boast too much sodium, may contain too many “unhealthy” ingredients or may not be considered fresh enough, but despite their talks, consumers aren’t really walking the walk. That’s because today’s frozen food processors continue to revamp the industry with the message that frozen foods are here to stay.

“Consumers are constantly inundated with messaging telling them what they should and should not eat, with ‘processed’ and frozen foods being items they should steer clear from. This unfair, unfortunate and inaccurate mantra is very much top-of-mind for very good reason—consumers are increasingly skipping the frozen food aisle. In fact, the frozen food aisle is experiencing flat or declining sales across 98% of the frozen food categories,” says Kraig Naasz, president and CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute, McLean, Va. “Thankfully, the frozen foods conversation is about to change!”freezercase_IN

In honor of March being National Frozen Foods Month, this is Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ 17th annual Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors report, which breaks down the Top 25 frozen food processors in each of the six sectors. Processors are ranked by annual net sales and listings.

While 68% of the processors updated their profile(s) via our online portal (34 companies appear in more than one category), other processors declined to provide annual sales or refused to update company information. Those frozen foods sales figures and estimates, which are marked with an asterisk (*), are based on company reports, news releases, market analysts’ reports, industry media and more. This report represents Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ best efforts to reflect pertinent sales from all channels.

A special thank you goes to Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ sister publications—National Provisioner and Dairy Foods—for their research and support in the meat/poultry/seafood and dairy foods sections, respectively. And, of course thank you to all of the respondents for taking the time to update their company information. Going straight to the source is a million times more credible than pulling information from the internet, so for that, we appreciate your cooperation.

 


CLICK Here FOR THE FULL REPORT.

 

 

MEALS & ENTRÉES

Frozen Meals and Entrées Help Consumers Overcome Frozen Food Phobia

For some consumers, frozen foods may boast too much sodium, may contain too many “unhealthy” ingredients or may not be considered fresh enough. Thankfully today’s processors of frozen meals and entrées are helping shoppers overcome that fear of frozen foods with healthier, more flexible options for the every consumer.

Changes from last year’s report

  • Changed Birds Eye frozen division to Pinnacle Foods, Inc., per company’s request.
  • Changed MorningStar Farms to Kellogg Co., per company’s request.
  • Deleted Nestlé USA’s pizza entry because it’s redundant to Nestlé Prepared Foods, same report.
  • Deleted American Pride Seafoods because it was acquired by High Liner Foods and is now consolidated under one profile.
  • Deleted Overhill Farms because it was purchased by Bellisio Foods and is now consolidated under one profile.
  • Deleted Ajinomoto North America, as they produce more of the additives and ingredients, not the actual finished goods.
  • Added the following companies to the report: Rich Products Corp., Koch Foods, Simmons Foods and Frozen Specialties, Inc.

Significant events in 2013

Significant events still to come in 2014

  • Little Lady Foods, Elk Grove Village, Ill, will celebrate 30 years of business.
  • Rich Products will open a new plant in Missouri City, Texas, in April, as well as a new customer innovation center in June.
  • Ruiz Foods celebrates 50 years of business. Fred Ruiz, co-founder, will retire.
  • Kellogg’s MorningStar Farms announced Project K, which will create and empower global category teams and regional hubs, build capabilities and drive functional efficiencies and optimize its global supply chain infrastructure.

 

MEAT, POULTRY & SEAFOOD

Meat Processors Pack in Plant Expansions

Despite previous run-ins with the food safety law, today’s meat, poultry and seafood processors redeem themselves by packing in increased sales and a noteworthy list of plant expansions.

Changes from last year’s report

  • Deleted Pilgrim’s Pride, per company’s request because it consolidated in to JBS’ profile.
  • Deleted National Beef Packing because the company indicated they only produce fresh beef and beef byproducts, nothing frozen.
  • Added the following companies to the report: West Liberty Foods, LLC, Rich Products Corp. and Seaboard Foods.
  • As a result, bumped John Soules Foods from the report.

Significant events in 2013

Significant events still to come in 2014

  • Rich Products will open a new plant in Missouri City, Texas, in April, as well as a new customer innovation center in June.
  • OSI Group announced plans to open a new facility in Riverside, Calif.
  • Sanderson Farms, Inc., Laurel, Miss., is building a big bird deboning processing plant in Palestine, Texas, that is expected to be in operation January 2015.


DAIRY

Dairy Industry Battles Rising Commodity Costs

Most of the dairy processors included in this year’s Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors report expressed concern over rising commodity costs. But, no challenge goes without a fight for today’s frozen dairy processors.

Changes from last year’s report

  • Deleted Super Store Industries because the company indicated they only produce refrigerated dairy items, not frozen.
  • Foster Dairy Farms became Crystal Creamery.
  • Added the following companies to the report: The Dannon Co. and Rich Products Corp.
  • As a result, Brookshire Grocery Co. and Stonyfield Farm were bumped from the list.

Significant events in 2013

  • Rich Products Corp., Buffalo, N.Y., broke ground on a new customer innovation center. Rich Products also opened a new plant in Crest Hill, Ill., last November and a donut facility in Union City, Calif., in April 2013.
  • Robert Kilmer was appointed president of Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream.
  • Smith Dairy Products Co., Orrville, Ohio, introduced redesigned packaging for its Ruggles brand.
  • Wells Enterprises, Inc., Le Mars, Iowa, celebrated 100 years of business by forming an alliance with Make-A-Wish and delivering 100 wishes to 100 children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Significant events still to come in 2014

  • Rich Products will open a new plant in Missouri City, Texas, in April, as well as a new customer innovation center in June.
  • Safeway, Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., sold off its long-time Chicago grocery chain, Dominick’s, and announced plans to sell itself.

 

SNACKS, APPETIZERS & SIDE DISHES

Snack Category Benefits from On-the-Go Lifestyles

It’s no surprise that today’s on-the-go consumers rule the frozen foods aisles. It’s also no surprise that they set the precedence for how the frozen snack and appetizer category continues to evolve.

Changes from last year’s report

  • Added the following companies to the report: Koch Foods, Bellisio Foods and Tyson Foods.
  • As a result, Frial and Bylada Foods were bumped from the list.
  • Deleted Frozen Specialties, Inc., and moved to the meals and entrées report.
  • Changed Don Miguel Mexican Foods to MegaMex Foods, per company’s request.
  • Changed Bob Evans Foods to BEF Foods, per company’s request.

Significant events in 2013

  • Rich Products Corp., Buffalo, N.Y., broke ground on a new customer innovation center. Rich Products also opened a new plant in Crest Hill, Ill., last November and a donut facility in Union City, Calif., in April 2013.

Significant events still to come in 2014

  • BEF Foods, Inc. (also known as Bob Evans Farms) will undergo a plant restructuring to support future growth. The New Albany, Ohio-based company also announced plans to expand its Sulphur Spring, Texas, and Lima, Ohio, plants.
  • J. R. Simplot Co., Boise, Idaho, announced plans to construct a new corporate headquarters building. It also opened a new potato processing plant in Caldwell, Idaho, earlier this year.
  • Rich Products will open a new plant in Missouri City, Texas, in April, as well as a new customer innovation center in June.

 

BAKERY

Frozen Bakery Category Rises to the Occasion

The frozen bakery category continues to rise, as bakers expand their portfolios and their facilities.

Changes from last year’s report

  • Changed the Pillsbury unit to General Mills, per the company’s request.
  • Deleted Nestlé Prepared Foods because the company’s cookie dough is sold refrigerated, not frozen.
  • Changed Ralcorp Frozen Bakery to ConAgra Foods to reflect the acquisition.
  • Added Cole’s Quality Foods to the report.

Significant events in 2013

  • Rich Products Corp., Buffalo, N.Y., broke ground on a new customer innovation center. Rich Products also opened a new plant in Crest Hill, Ill., last November and a donut facility in Union City, Calif., in April 2013.
  • Flowers Foods, Thomasville, Ga., elected Allen Shiver as president and CEO, while George Deese, previously chairman of the board and CEO, was elected executive chairman of the board.
  • ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb., completed its acquisition of Ralcorp Frozen Bakery, Downers Grove, Ill.

Significant events still to come in 2014

  • Dianne’s Fine Desserts, Newburyport, Mass., expressed continued interest in growing through acquisition.
  • Rich Products will open a new plant in Missouri City, Texas, in April, as well as a new customer innovation center in June.
  • Aunt Millie’s Bakeries, Fort Wayne, Ind., plans to install new freezing and packing lines.

 

FRUITS & VEGETABLES

Move Over Fresh. Here Comes Frozen.

The frozen fruits and vegetables category has always been somewhat plain Jane, consisting of small, privately-held companies that don’t display much year-to-year fluctuation in the Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors report. However this year, frozen fruit and vegetable producers prompted a great deal of traffic within the industry, indicating that frozen is in and here to stay.

Changes from last year’s report

  • Changed Birds Eye frozen division to Pinnacle Foods, Inc., per the company’s request.
  • Deleted La Fe Foods, as they do not produce frozen vegetables.
  • Deleted Allens, Inc. because it sold off most of its frozen foods division in 2012, and is now a canned goods company up for sale.
  • Added Cavendish Farms to the report.

Significant events in 2013

  • Gary Crowder was named president and CFO of Smith Frozen Foods, Inc., Weston, Ore., replacing Sharon Smith, chief executive officer.
  • Inventure Foods, Phoenix, Ariz., acquired Fresh Frozen Foods, LLC, based in Jefferson, Ga.
  • Paramount Citrus, Delano, Calif., acquired the citrus assets of Grimmway Farms, Bakersfield, Calif.

Significant events still to come in 2014

  • J. R. Simplot Co., Boise, Idaho, announced plans to construct a new corporate headquarters building.
  • Smith Frozen Foods announced plans to revamp its Weston, Ore., facility with new equipment that’s more efficient and in line with food safety standards.
  • NORPAC Foods, Inc., Stayton, Ore., will open a new cold storage distribution facility and move its headquarters to Salem, Ore.
     



Fast Facts about the Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors Report

Out of 116 total companies (34 companies were listed in more than one category), 68% of this year’s Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors report was updated by the companies themselves via our online portal.

  • 20 of the 25 meal/entrée processors updated their profiles (80% update rate).
  • 22 of the 25 meat/poultry/seafood processors updated their profiles (88% update rate).
  • 15 of the 25 dairy processors updated their profiles (60% update rate).
  • 16 of the 25 snack/appetizer/sides processors updated their profiles (64% update rate).
  • 18 of the 25 frozen bakery processors updated their profiles (72% update rate).
  • 11 of the 25 fruit/vegetable processors updated their profiles (44% update rate).

 

Greatest Opportunity for Growth in the Frozen Foods Industry

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods interviewed all of our Top 150 frozen food processors to find out what they consider to be their greatest opportunity for growth in the frozen foods industry. Here’s what they had to say:

Frozen Specialties, Inc. sees a great opportunity in organic, all-natural and gluten-free products.

“The premium end of the pizza category has huge potential,” says Palermo Villa, Inc. “As our customer becomes more savvy, we aim to keep up with new innovative flavors and crust platforms.”

Jensen Meat looks to experience growth potential in the food distribution area.

OSI Group plans to continue expansion throughout China.

“As a leader in the chocolate category, Mars Ice Cream has a lot of opportunity to grow the ice cream category with consumers who already love our chocolate brands,” says the Burr Ridge, Ill.-based unit of Mars, Inc.

“For Rich’s to grow, we are staying ahead of the curve with new and different product offerings, such as in the frozen snacks and appetizers category, where consumers continue to evolve their eating habits and snack throughout the day,” says Rich Products Corp. “Rich’s is committed to innovation that develops new products for the changing needs of our customers and the industry. We are continually looking to provide customers with products that address their labor issues, are on trend and address the shifting interest of consumers.”

“Building on the foundation of becoming a completely stand-alone company with a singular focus on desserts will allow us to grow our customer focus to support customers’ needs through product, data, insights and sales support,” according to Dianne’s Fine Desserts.

 

Greatest Concern for the Frozen Foods Industry

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods interviewed all of our Top 150 frozen food processors to find out what they consider to be their greatest concern in the frozen foods industry. Here’s what they had to say:

Request Foods, Inc. expressed concern for the price of beef, cheese and other commodities.

Frozen foods have an image problem, according to Nestlé USA. “That’s why frozen food processors are going on the offensive, aiming to make products that look better, taste better and offer enough convenience to overcome frozen food phobia.”

Ruiz Foods is worried how the drought will affect ingredients, such as wheat, beef, cattle, etc.

Frozen Specialties and Palermo Villa say government regulations are a growing concern for the frozen food industry.

Jensen Meat expressed concern for a shortage of beef supply.

Hershey Creamery Co. indicated the rising cost of ingredients and insurance costs as being a great concern for the dairy industry.

Meanwhile, Mars Ice Cream is concerned about commodity prices and plans to continue watching international demand for dairy inputs that carry potential to drive up costs.

 “The challenge exists to maintain the industry pace of continuously changing consumer eating habits,” says Rich Products Corp. 

 

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