Welcome to the midway point of 2024 - if you are a glass half-full person (which I am), then that means we’ve still got six months to make the most of this year. The July issue of R&FF aims to help you do just that, starting with our cover story on the Top 150 Frozen Food Processors Report, which consistently ranks among R&FF’s most popular pieces of content each year.  

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods checks the pulse of the cold processing and manufacturing industry and releases its annual ranking of the largest frozen food companies in the U.S. It follows the Top 25 Refrigerated Foods Processors Report published in May. 

We moved the report from March in an effort to better capture complete financial data and present a more nuanced look at the industry, mid-year. The report also contains insights gleaned from last month’s Frozen IQ convention, presented by AFFI and FMI – the Food Industry Association. It was a fast-paced two days of interesting presentations, including areas you might not associate with frozen foods, like the session on home appliances. The number of U.S. households with an air fryer might surprise you – some figures put it as high as 70% -- and, both home appliance and frozen food manufacturers are adjusting the way they design everything from ovens to food packaging.   

Speaking of travel, it was a trek to get to Burley, a small town in Idaho’s Magic Valley region known for its rich milk supply and now, the state’s first vertically integrated dairy processor. Despite the distance, the trip was a fascinating, firsthand look at how two local dairy farmers are taking their operations to the next level. I invite you to read, listen and watch more of their story here

Other content in the July issue includes our annual winners of the R&FF Best New Retail Products contest – Bubbies Fine Foods, Doughlicious and Good Foods Group share their stories in our Q&A. The issue also contains a look at some of the latest ways sustainability is being designed into chilled and frozen food facilities and a Cold Chain Ops column on A2L refrigerants.  

Before I let you go, I hope you will take a minute to consider the R&FF Processor of the Year award, honoring a refrigerated and/or frozen foods processor for its year-over-year growth and leadership in product sales, packaging, distribution strategies, food safety, new product development, plant expansions, sustainability programs and more. I encourage you to check out requirements and submit a nomination by August 16!