Freezer finds new followers

The freezer has attracted record levels of customers and sales over the past year. Initially, growth was driven by buyers' uncertainty about Covid-19. However, these record highs persist as customers have recognized the benefits of high quality frozen products.

According to a Simplot Australia spokesperson, the outlook for frozen categories in 2021 is positive. Many of the frozen categories have higher sales than they did before Covid-19.

"Compared to the same three months of 2019, frozen seafood sales are 26 percent higher, frozen potatoes 23 percent and frozen vegetables 4 percent higher," said Simplot Australia, citing IRI MarketEdge data.

According to Simplot Australia, the pandemic has shaken our shopping habits and the way we interact with food, with the freezer aisle becoming a target when surrounding shelves were empty. This disruption of habitual habits led to a kind of “discovery phase” by consumers who may not have previously shopped in the freezer often.

"This was especially true for younger consumers / small buyers as they began to see the freezer through a new lens," says Simplot Australia.

“Younger consumers in particular were shopping in categories they had never seen before and using products like frozen vegetables. These consumers quickly realized that it was a smart way to shop and cook. "

Trends that are sparking interest in the freezer aisle include:

  • The desire for convenience – while at the same time meeting consumer expectations for quality, taste and nutritional value
  • Recreate the food outside the home at home – experiment with flavors and formats and look for premium / enjoyment offers
  • Conscious consumption (both from an environmental and personal health perspective.

“The frozen food section of the grocery store is slowly gaining influence again and shouldn't be underestimated, says Simplot Australia.

"We continue to show consumers how versatile frozen products and ingredients can be."

Find out more about the frozen food category in the June issue of Retail World magazine.

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