When it comes to frozen meals, it’s important that consumers separate fact from fiction.

Fiction: Frozen meals don’t use real ingredients.

Fact: The freezer aisle is filled with meals made with the highest quality ingredients and prepared the way consumers would prepare them at home, according to the “Frozen. How Fresh Stays Fresh.” campaign, launched by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), McLean, Va.

Fiction: Frozen meals aren’t environmentally friendly. 

Fact: Many of today’s frozen foods already minimize the amount of spoiled food thrown away because they’re packaged in single-serve, family-size and to-go offerings.

In fact, frozen microwavable foods represent the largest and fastest growing microwavable foods product segment, according to a study produced by Persistence Market Research, New York.

And, North America and Europe are the largest market for microwavable foods, the study says, with the Asia-Pacific region expected to be fastest growing market for microwavable foods.

Packaging also plays an important role in ensuring that the food remains suitable for cooking in a microwave oven. Different technologies used for packaging include patterned susceptors, new tray lidding methods and new cook bag techniques.

It’s always a pizza party

According to a study conducted by Harris Poll, Rochester, N.Y., just over half (53%) of Americans indicate they eat more when they’re stressed, and two-thirds (67%) agree they use their favorite comfort food as a pick-me-up. For Americans, pizza lands in the No. 1 spot as the ultimate comfort food.

In fact, pizza consumption has been trending at its highest level in the past four years, and showing growth for pizza-focused concepts across channels, according to Chicago-based Technomic’s “2016 Pizza Consumer Trend Report.”

For example, consumers average 4 pizza occasions per month, up from 3.4 in 2014.

Unique toppings are increasingly key, as 39% of consumers say that new and innovative toppings are highly important in creating a good pizza, up from 32% two years ago. 

And, more consumers are demanding transparency in the pizza occasion. For instance, 32% of consumers say it’s important to know the nutritional content of the pizza they eat, up from 25% in 2014.

Click here to view market trend reports for this category.

To learn more about these and other new retail meals and entrees, go here.