Aiming for the stars can be a daunting endeavor in any business. The competitive world of refrigerated and frozen foods is no different. 

Aiming for the stars can be a daunting endeavor in any business. The competitive world of refrigerated and frozen foods is no different. Small and mid-sized processors with lofty goals must be made of the right stuff to blast to the top of this industry. It’s clear that each of the six companies recruited by Refrigerated & Frozen Foods for this year’s annual “Ones to Watch” issue is equipped for the mission.

As its name implies, Really Cool Foods, began from a really cool idea - on-the-go, all-natural entrees and sides that are fresh and healthy. Over the last three years, Really Cool Foods has seen its distribution go national and its number of products top 100. A new Indiana-based plant and distribution center will open early next year to further increase distribution and production.

After nearly 30 years in the frozen hors d’oeuvres business,Good Wives, , still is winning awards for its handmade appetizers and treats. In fact the company’s attention to detail and quality has led to so much product demand that it had to build a bigger plant, which it will move into early next year.

AlthoughMurray’s Chickens, is a small, family-owned business, make no mistake, this company is on the cutting edge of technology. With new sustainable packaging and the latest in farm verification, Murray’s all-natural chickens, turkeys and value-added products have found success in the retail and foodservice markets.

When everyone else was putting their guacamole in tubs,Fresherized Foods founder Don Bowden put his in a pouch. This and other unconventional decisions - such as using high pressure processing (HPP) treatment to preserve fresh avocados, guacamole and now salsa - have put Fresherized Foods, ahead of the pack.

Founded by organic industry pioneers in 1988,Organic Valley Family of Farms,  now is the largest organic farmer-owned co-op in the U.S. and represents approximately 10 percent of the certified organic farming community. With more than 1,200 farmer members, the co-op expects to pull in $540 million in sales this year.

With a team of pie industry veterans leading the way,Rocky Mountain Pies,has quickly found success since it was founded by Mark “Par” Grandinetti in 2007. Handmade touches and smart business strategies have helped this pie company get on pace to double its sales and customer base during its second year in business. Read about the company’s Salt Lake City, Utah, plant in "Inside The Plant: Home Sweet Home."