Refrigerated & Frozen Foods has hosted a Best New Retail Products Contest since 2013, but 2021 is the first time we’ve split frozen and refrigerated products into separate annual competitions. The first leg this year was for frozen foods, and after a month of voting throughout April, our top five was set based on vote totals from the public.
At this time last year, those working along the cold chain were collectively trying to figure out how to navigate daily—sometimes hourly—changes and disruptions to business in the middle of a pandemic. Today, as the pandemic wanes in the U.S., a new set of challenges exist, but the industry is better prepared and positioned to overcome many of those obstacles.
When it comes to climate change, some consumers view agriculture as a part of the solution rather than the problem. Among participants in Cargill’s recent global Feed4Thought survey, those who indicated climate change as important to them also rated livestock and agriculture lowest in negative impact compared with other industries generally regarded as significant contributors. More than one-third of respondents expressed confidence in the industry’s ability to limit its contributions to climate change.
The adage, "shoot for the moon and you'll still land among the stars" comes to mind when assessing frozen food sales since early March. The rocket launch of consumer stockpiling created astronomical sales figures that were impossible to sustain, but now that buying has leveled off, the year-over-year numbers look like they'll be hovering around +30% over 2019 sales for weeks to come, if not the rest of 2020, according to new data from the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and 210 Analytics. That means the meteoric sales arc created by panic buying in March has a long way to go before it comes down to normal levels.
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.
The latest data from research firm IRI (Information Resources Inc.) and BCG (Boston Consulting Group) shows frozen and refrigerated food sales leveling off after a sharp sales spike in March due to COVID-19 stockpiling by consumers.