Calling all culinary trailblazers! Do you have an exciting refrigerated or frozen food product that you believe is ready to be named the next big thing? If so, you may want to consider entering a new contest sponsored by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). 

The NFRA Penguin Pitch: Emerging Brand Contest is open to new or emerging food brands that are currently at retail and looking to disrupt their category.

 “Think of when self-rising gourmet pizza first appeared in the freezer… Or when the dairy aisle introduced milk derived from nuts and soy… That’s the kind of innovation we’re looking for," said Tricia Greyshock, president and CEO of NFRA. The Penguin Pitch is searching for brands that push boundaries and redefine how consumers experience and enjoy frozen and refrigerated foods.

The grand prize winner will receive their own table at Café NFRA during this year’s NFRA Convention, October 5-8, 2024, in National Harbor, Maryland. Valued at $6,000, the Café spot will give the winning brand an opportunity to showcase their product to retailers and industry professionals. The winning brand will also receive the honor of being named NFRA’s inaugural “Emerging Brand of the Year,” increasing the brand’s growth potential. Select honorable mentions will also be awarded. 

Neil Ritchey, NFRA Chairman and Vice President of Consumer Brands at InnovAsian Cuisine, adds, "Our search for emerging brands is a way of challenging manufacturers to innovate. We want to see products that not only excite shoppers, but also encourage them to spend a few extra minutes looking for new items that will make mealtimes more fulfilling.”

Entries must meet the following requirements to qualify:

  • Company must be a member of NFRA in good standing (if not currently a member, company must join before March 1, 2024).
  • The Product being entered must have been retail ready and have been shipping to U.S. retailers as of no later than June 1, 2023.
  • Retail sales for the Product must be in the range of $100,000 – $2 million annually by February 1, 2024.
  • Company must be less than 3-years-old.
  • Must have a viable distribution supply chain network in place.
  • Product should be innovative and fill a consumer need 

Complete official rules and online application are here. Deadline to enter is February 16.

 About National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA)
NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. NFRA sponsors national promotions ReDiscover Dairy & Frozen (January), March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties (June/July); and provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities through its Easy Home Meals consumer website and social media properties.