The global frozen foods industry has grown significantly over the past few years, and there’s no sign of slowing. But, although this growth is translating to PMMI Tom Eganopportunity for refrigerated and frozen food manufacturers working to meet increasing consumer demands, competition remains steep.

To compete amid crowded store shelves and freezer aisles, brand owners must take extra steps to stand out with packaging that adds value to their product. While some trends come and go, packaging features that engage consumers and deliver greater convenience remain in high-demand.

Convenience is cool
Consumers live increasingly busy lifestyles that necessitate on-the-go convenience for single and even multi-serve snacks and beverages. As a result, pouch packaging is on the rise. Lightweight formats, often portable and resealable, have become increasingly popular for refrigerated as well as frozen foods and beverages. For example, Seattle's Best Coffee Frozen Coffee Blends, introduced last year in flexible stand-up pouches, takes up less space, weighs less and are easier to carry than rigid packaging. Flexible pouch formats like this can reduce shipping costs without sacrificing valuable branding real estate. 

Furthermore, according to “Retail Ready Packaging,” released in May by PMMI, The Association for Processing and Packaging Technologies, Reston, Va., consumers aren’t alone in seeking convenience. Manufacturers and retailers both benefit from retail-ready packaging—it improves handling throughout the supply chain. In addition, manufacturers score by providing consumers with smaller packets with higher-quality graphics and greater sustainability benefits.

Engage. Engage. Engage.
The bar for innovative packaging continues to rise, and stiff competition has led to refrigerated and frozen food manufacturers creating unique features purely to engage consumers.

For example, Häagen-Dazs recently created a Timer app to ensure each customer enjoys his or her ice cream at just the right temperature and texture. The consumer downloads the app on a smartphone, then scans a QR code on the lid of the ice cream carton and enjoys a 2-minute mini-concert through the use of augmented reality.

During those two minutes, the ice cream is reaching its ideal temperature, and consumers are entertained by a tiny violinist who appears to be standing upon the lid of the ice cream carton playing classical music. Häagen-Dazs could have simply printed a statement on the package advising consumers to wait two minutes before serving, but the app engages their attention and will stay with them longer.

Explore your opportunities at PACK EXPO International 2014
A competitive edge requires innovative packaging solutions in the refrigerated and frozen foods industry. Manufacturers can look to PACK EXPO International 2014, Nov. 2-5 at McCormick Place in Chicago, as a resource for insights and technologies to advance the level of convenience and engagement. As North America’s largest resource for discovering processing and packaging innovation, the show will include features such as The Brand Zone, providing brand owners insight and inspiration for the most advanced packaging solutions. Co-located with Pharma EXPO, the shows are expected to attract 50,000 attendees and feature 2,000 exhibitors within more than 1.1 million net square feet of exhibit space.

To register for PACK EXPO International 2014, visit