On our latest From the Cold Corner Podcast, I discuss the state of frozen foods and COVID-19’s effect on the entire industry with Alison Bodor, president and CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI).
While the origin of a cluster of coronavirus infections in Beijing, China, is unknown, some officials are suggesting the virus was present on chopping boards used to cut imported salmon. The speculation is also drawing a misleading conclusion that frozen foods can contribute to the spread of coronavirus. As the leading association representing the U.S. frozen food industry, the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) is providing information on what we currently know regarding the science and spread of coronavirus.
Frozen food sales rose significantly the final week of April, according to new research by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), 210 Analytics, and IRI. The +50.3% increase was the highest since the height of mid-March stockpiling by consumers, when frozen food sales peaked at +94.4% compared to 2019 sales for the same time period. The +50.3% increase translates to $1.3 billion compared to $442 million in 2019.
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.
Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is ubiquitous in the environment and an ever-present threat in frozen food facilities, but food safety professionals who remain vigilant and understand where to focus food safety resources to control and prevent Lm in their facilities will ultimately triumph and keep food safe.
Attendees representing the $57 billion frozen food and beverage supply chain gathered in Las Vegas recently for the 2020 AFFI Frozen Food Convention (AFFI-CON), where new AFFI officers were elected: Meghan Swan of J.R. Simplot Company as chair; Julia Sabin of The J.M. Smucker Company as chair elect; and Mike McEvoy of Sargento Foods as immediate past chair.
The July 2020 issue of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine takes a mid-year snapshot of the cold chain in our annual State of the Industry Report, plus our 2020 Best New Retail Products Contest winners, women in cold chain logistics, the latest innovations in palletizers and refrigeration controls, plus much more—just click below to start reading.