The latest data from research firm IRI (Information Resources Inc.) and BCG (Boston Consulting Group) for the week ending April 5, shows frozen and refrigerated food sales increasing slightly compared to the week ending March 29. Frozen food purchases rose to +34.7%, compared to the previous week's 31.3%. Dairy showed a higher jump at +29.9% compared to the previous week's +20.9%. The numbers remain significantly elevated compared to last year's sales, due to a spike in purchasing related to COVID-19 stockpiling in early March. 

Meanwhile, frozen cookie dough, which was at +574% in mid-March, then dropped from the rankings completely, made a comeback on this week's chart as the fastest growing product among all edible/non-edible items, at +453.9%. Dry/refrigerated yeast is at +248%, down from +282.3% a week ago, and frozen pizza kits debuts on the list with +243.3% in sales compared to last year. 

A deeper dive into this week's numbers for frozen foods shows a slight increase across the board:

  • Frozen pizza = +57.2% (up from +52.4%)
  • Ice cream = +35.3% (up from +28.8%)
  • Frozen novelties = +21.2% (up from +14.7%)

While refrigerated food sales show only uncooked meat with a decline:

  • Shredded cheese = +59.8% (up from +46.1%)
  • Fresh eggs = +53.7% (up from +38.0%)
  • Uncooked meats, excluding poultry = +36.5% (down from +46.3%)
  • Whole milk = +26.0% (up from +15.4%)
  • Skim milk = +19.6% (up from +8.8%)
  • Yogurt = -2.6% (up from -6.9%)

Overall, the numbers are still astronomical compared to last year (with the exception of yogurt) as the residual effect of panic buying and stockpiling in early March is still noticeable. It's also interesting to see high demand for frozen pizza kits, as families sheltering in place may be viewing assembling pizzas together as an activity.

For a complete overview of the April 5 statistics, you can download the report here

Click here for more COVID-19 coverage and how it is affecting the refrigerated and frozen foods industry.