Frozen foods and snacks are meeting no shortage of challenges in the marketplace according to the “Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks” report from Packaged Facts. First, as the report points out, there is unprecedented consumer demand for fresh products—or, at least, fresher products—in refrigerated rather than frozen form. Plus, frozen foods often contain preservatives such as potassium sorbate, calcium propionate and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are at odds with clean-label and natural trends driving the food industry as a whole. Finally, previously popular low-calorie and diet-oriented frozen foods are facing additional consumer scrutiny as a result of their high sodium contents.
Add to this the fact that frozen foods face a sort of antiquated reputation, and it becomes clear that there’s a bit of rebranding that needs to be done in order for this sector to succeed. “Many consumers have come to believe that only fresh foods offer real nutritional value,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts, Rockville, MD. He adds that the strong anti-frozen viewpoint on the part of these shoppers can even blind them to brands whose products offer the same nutritional value as fresh or refrigerated options.