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Frozen Foods in the U.S., 3rd Edition


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Marketers and retailers of frozen foods have capitalized on recessionary conditions to offer consumers alternatives to expensive dinners out. Although economic conditions are slowly improving, Americans are still “eating in” more often, and frozen foods provide a convenient way to prepare the healthy, cost-effective meals consumers want. Packaged Facts estimates that U.S. retail sales of frozen foods and beverages through all retail channels totaled approximately $56 billion in 2010, with sales up 22%—or $10.0 billion—during the 2006-2010 period. And with new product introductions now picking back up, the market is forecast to near $70 billion by 2015.

This completely revised Packaged Facts report examines the U.S. market for frozen foods and beverages sold to consumers through the entire retail spectrum. The 2010 edition of Frozen Foods in the U.S. takes an omnibus approach, providing a broad overview of the frozen foods market as a whole tracking five main classifications: Center Plate, Desserts, Vegetables/Appetizers/Snacks/Sides, Breakfast Foods, and Beverages. A comprehensive “Market Overview” chapter provides overall sales statistics and breakouts by classification, along with a thorough analysis of the current market outlook, examining overarching trends affecting frozen foods sales such as the economy, health/wellness and environmental concerns. The report also provides extensive marketer and brand share breakouts in those categories exhibiting the most activity in 2010. A chapter focusing on marketing and new product trends in frozen foods—e.g., convenience, health, and “green” appeals—and a chapter on consumer trends complete the analysis.

Frozen Foods in the U.S. documents ongoing and emerging product trends, using data from Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics tracking service to quantify and categorize new product introductions. Detailed sales figures are compiled using SymphonyIRI’s InfoScan Review data for mass-market channels; and the report also tracks sales through natural channels using SPINSscan data. Experian Simmons Market Research Bureau and Packaged Facts’ own custom, online consumer survey data form the basis of an in-depth examination of consumer trends, including attitudes toward frozen foods and related trends such as the economy and healthy eating, as well as product and brand penetration levels and preferences. As with all Packaged Facts reports, the wide range of data is presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.


Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


Decline in Restaurant Traffic a Plus for Frozen Foods

Packaged Facts surveys confirm that, in the wake of the economic recession and lingering concerns about recovery, many consumers have cut back on restaurant meals in favor of groceries. In responding to Packaged Facts’ Summer 2010 survey, 49% of adults reported that they had eaten less at fast-food restaurants since the recession began, 50% said they’d eaten less fast-food takeout, and 61% said they’d eaten less at sit-down restaurants. Conversely, the percent of adults who strongly agreed that they were spending less on groceries because of the economy was only 15%, while another 28% only somewhat agreed, percentages offset by the 12% of adults who strongly disagreed that they were spending less on groceries, and the 25% who somewhat disagreed. In other words, restaurants experienced a significant drop-off in consumer demand even as trends in grocery spending remained balanced.

Center Plate Classification Solidifies Leading Share

The center plate classification as defined by this report now accounts for slightly over half of all frozen food sales in mass-market outlets, growing from a 49% share in 2006 to reach nearly 52% in 2010, according to SymphonyIRI data. Conversely, desserts have lost steam during the same five-year period, accounting for 26% of frozen food sales in 2010, down from over 28% in 2006. The other three classifications remained relatively stable in terms of market share during the period. [Figure 2-1]

72% of Americans Eat Frozen Prepared Foods

If restaurants have lost some steam, have frozen food marketers been able to capitalize on this trend? Results of Packaged Facts’ Fall 2010 consumer survey suggest that frozen prepared foods have excellent market penetration versus their freshly prepared counterparts. The survey found that while 49% of respondents had purchased... In the News


Frozen Foods Provide Healthy, Affordable Alternatives to Dining Out as Market Grows Amidst Sluggish Economy

New York, December 21, 2010 — The frozen foods industry reached domestic retail sales of $56 billion in 2010, fueled by consumer tendencies to seek out quality meals at affordable prices amidst the economic downturn, according to Frozen Foods in the U.S., 3rd Edition by market research publisher Packaged Facts. During the 2006-2010 period, sales rose 22%-or $10 billion-overall, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%.

"A lingering effect of the recession is that consumers are eating at home more. This trend has had a positive impact on the frozen foods market, as consumers turn to the freezer aisles to supplement more expensive fresh produce and meats," says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. "Additionally, microwaveable frozen products provide a quick and easy lunch-at-work for those looking to avoid pricey lunches out."

While the economy is impacting the spending of the majority of U.S. consumers, spending on food has been affected to a lesser extent, according to the report. The new economic reality feeds two opposing trends in consumer goods markets, including frozen foods: premiumization (upscaling) and cutting back (downsizing). Rather than cancelling each other out, these two trends interact in the face of slow economic recovery as consumers juggle how to get the most out of less money or less spending.

Beyond the recession, one of the biggest macrotrends in the food industry is consumers’ demand for products that meet their health, wellness and nutrition needs. Many frozen foods marketers actively promote their goods based on health claims, whether based on calorie count (e.g., portion-controlled frozen entrees), preparation method (e.g., steam-in-the-bag vegetables), or ingredients (e.g., gluten-free foods).

As the nation slowly pulls out of the recession, frozen food sales are expected to be buoyed by new product introductions, especially in the case of innovative health- and convenience-targeted introductions. Packaged Facts projects that retail sales of frozen foods and beverages will reach $70 billion in 2015, an increase of 25% over 2010 revenues.

Frozen Foods in the U.S., 3rd Edition examines the U.S. market for frozen foods and beverages sold to consumers through the entire retail spectrum. The report takes an omnibus approach, providing a broad overview of the frozen foods market as a whole tracking five main classifications: Center Plate, Desserts, Breakfast Foods, Beverages, and Vegetables/Appetizers/Snacks/Sides. A comprehensive "Market Overview" chapter provides overall sales statistics and breakouts by classification, along with a thorough analysis of the current market outlook, examining overarching trends affecting frozen foods sales such as the economy, health/wellness and environmental concerns.

About Packaged Facts—Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.

  • Executive Summary
    • Introduction
      • Scope of Report
      • Omnibus Approach to Frozen Food Market
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Overview
      • Retail Sales Approach $56 Billion in 2010
      • SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales Reach $33.3 Billion in 2010
      • Center Plate Classification Solidifies Leading Share
      • Pizza Category Tops in SymphonyIRI Dollar Growth
      • Supermarket/Grocery Store Share Slips to 54%
      • Factors to Market Growth
      • Sales to Reach $70 Billion by 2015
    • Competitive Trends
      • Multinational Conglomerates Dominate
      • "Full Meal" Options Lose Ground to Poultry, Seafood
      • Ice Cream, Frozen Novelties Dominate Dessert Classification
      • Appetizers and Snack Sales Fall Flat
      • Frozen Breakfast Shares
      • Juice Category Continues Free-Fall
      • Lunch/Dinner Entrees Are Largest Frozen Classification in Natural Channel
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • New Frozen Product Introductions Skyrocket
      • Convenience Tops Claims List
      • Nestlé Leads in 2010 Product Introductions
      • U.S., U.K. Lead Global Frozen Food Introductions
      • Overview of Marketing Trends
    • Consumer Trends
      • Though Time-Pressed, Most Americans Try to Eat Healthier
      • Decline in Restaurant Traffic a Plus for Frozen Foods
      • 72% of Americans Eat Frozen Prepared Foods
      • Frozen Foods Considered a Top Value
      • Retail Purchasing Patterns for Frozen Prepared Meal Items
      • (Almost) All Scream for Ice Cream
    • Looking Ahead
      • Restarting the Engines
      • Healthy Eating Continues to Influence New Frozen Products
      • Channel Blurring
      • Frozen Food E-tailers Exploit Advantages Over Brick-and-Mortar
      • Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, Then…
  • Market Overview - Highlights
  • Market Overview
    • Introduction
      • Market Definition: Frozen Foods and Beverages
      • Omnibus Approach to Frozen Food Market
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Size and Composition
      • Retail Sales Approach $56 Billion in 2010
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Frozen Foods, 2006-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales Reach $33.3 Billion in 2010
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Frozen Foods by Dollar and Volume Growth, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars and pounds)
      • Center Plate Classification Solidifies Leading Share
      • Pizza Category Tops in SymphonyIRI Dollar Growth
        • Table Selected Frozen Food Categories by Dollar Growth/Loss in SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Frozen Foods by Classification and Category, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Supermarket/Grocery Store Share Slips to 54%
    • Market Outlook
      • Sluggish Economic Recovery
      • Slow Recovery Impacts Consumer Spending
        • Table Economy-Influenced Spending by U.S. Consumers: Less in General vs. Less on Groceries, May/June 2010 (percent)
        • Table Responses to Statement, "Compared to 3 Months Ago, How Much Are You Doing Any of the Following Right Now?" May/June 2010 (percent)
      • Frozen Foods: Dietary Staples and Affordable Luxuries
      • Eat-At-Home Movement Benefits Frozen Foods Market
      • Eating Healthy
      • Gluten-Free and Other Allergy Concerns
      • Frozen Foods: the "Healthier" Alternative to Fresh
      • Eating Fresh/Buying Local
      • Portion Control and Convenience
      • Natural and Organic
      • "Clean Label" Foods
      • Environmental Concerns
      • "Green" Packaging
      • Impact of Healthcare Reform
      • Food Industry Reacts
      • Frozen Food Safety
      • Frozen Food Safety and the FDA/USDA
    • Projected Market Growth
      • Sales to Reach $70 Billion by 2015
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Frozen Foods and Beverages, 2010-2015 (in millions of dollars)
  • Competitive Trends - Highlights
  • Competitive Trends
    • Multinational Conglomerates Dominate
    • Trend Overview by Classification
    • Trends in Center Plate
      • "Full Meal" Options Lose Ground to Poultry, Seafood
      • Single-Serve Dinners/Entrees the Largest Subcategory
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees by Sub-Category, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Nestlé Leads in Single-Serve Dinners/Entrees
      • Nestlé Also on Top in Frozen Multi-Serve Dinners/Entrees
      • Nestlé Leads Frozen Pizza with 46% Share
      • Private Label Dominates Seafood Market
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Single-Serve Dinners/Entrees by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Multi-Serve Dinners/Entrees by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Pizza by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Seafood by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Desserts
      • Ice Cream, Frozen Novelties Dominate Dessert Classification
      • Nestlé, Unilever Tops in Ice Cream Market
      • Nestlé Leads in Frozen Novelties
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Ice Cream by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Novelties by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Vegetables, Appetizers/Snacks, & Sides
      • Appetizers and Snack Sales Fall Flat
      • Private Label Almost Half of Frozen Plain Vegetable Sales
      • Few Marketers Compete in Prepared Vegetables Category
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Plain Vegetables by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Prepared Vegetables by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Breakfast Foods
      • Frozen Breakfast Classification Includes Sweet and Savory Foods
      • Waffles Giant Kellogg's Plagued by Production Problems
      • Jimmy Dean Corners Half of Breakfast Hand-held Market
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Waffles by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Breakfast Hand-held by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Beverages
      • Juice Category Continues Free-Fall
      • Orange Juice the Largest Juice Segment
      • Minute Maid Competes with Private Label for Top Juice Spot
        • Table Share of Juice Category by Juice Type, 2009-2010 (percent)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Frozen Juices by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
    • Natural/Organic Market
      • Segment Overview
      • Lunch/Dinner Entrees Largest Frozen Classification in Natural Channel
        • Table Frozen Food Categories by SPINS-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Frozen Fruits Category Sees Largest Gains
        • Table Top Ten Frozen Food Categories by SPINS-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Growth/Loss Frozen Food Categories by SPINS-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
  • Marketing and New Product Trends - Highlights
  • Marketing and New Product Trends
    • New Frozen Product Introductions Skyrocket
      • Table Number of U.S. Food Product Introductions: Overall, Frozen and Refrigerated, 2000-2010
    • Center Plate Categories Lead in New Product Intros
      • Table Number of U.S. Frozen Food Product Introductions by Product Categories, 2006-2010
    • Convenience Tops Claims List
      • Table Top Product Claims/Tags for U.S. Frozen Food Product Introductions, 2010 (number and percent)
    • Frozen Convenience
      • Table Number of New Frozen Food Product Introductions by Top "Convenience" Package Tags/Claims, 2008-2010
    • Natural-Related Claims Going Strong
      • Table Number of New Frozen Food Product Introductions by Top "Natural" Package Tags/Claims, 2008-2010
    • Health-Related Claims Reclaiming Lost Ground
      • Table Number of New Frozen Food Product Introductions by Top Health-Related Package Tags/Claims, 2008-2010
    • Nestlé Leads in 2010 Product Introductions
      • Table Selected Leading U.S. Marketers of Frozen Foods Based on Number of Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU) Introductions, 2006-2010
    • U.S., U.K. Lead Global Frozen Food Introductions
      • Table Number of Frozen Foods Introductions by Country, 2006-2010 (number of reports)
    • Marketing Trends
      • Overview
      • Trends in Center Plate
        • Table WedMD's Top Twelve Healthy Frozen Entrees, 2010
      • Low Fat, Low Calorie Products Still Popular
      • Taste Still Matters
      • Lower Sodium
      • Whole Grains
      • Allergy Concerns
      • Marketer Profile: Amy's Kitchen
      • Steaming Hot
      • Upscale Taste, Value Prices
      • The Power of a Name
      • Restaurant Quality, Without the Restaurant
      • The Price of Gourmet and Artisan
      • Eating for Two (or More)
      • Skillet Meals a Family Affair
      • Ethnic Flavors
      • International Mashup
      • The Mediterranean Diet
      • Cuisine for Kids
      • Baby Food Is Big
      • Marketer Profile: Jack's Harvest
    • Trends in Desserts
      • Natural and Organic Options
      • Organic Ice Cream and Novelties
      • "All-Natural" Ice Cream
      • Brand Focus: Unilever's Ben & Jerry's
      • Other Organic Frozen Desserts
      • Dairy-Free Desserts
      • A New Way to Enjoy Coconut
      • Calorie Control: Single Servings and "Better-for-You" Novelties
      • Diet or Decadence?
      • Functional Flavors
      • Marketer Profile: Nestlé
      • The Skinny on The Skinny Cow
      • Nestlé Novelties
    • Marketing Trends: Frozen Vegetables, Appetizers/Snacks, and Sides
      • Competition from Private Label
      • Better Than Fresh
      • Brand Profile: General Mill's Green Giant
      • Freshness
    • Marketing Trends: Breakfast Foods
      • Convenient Breakfast on the Go
      • Ditching the Doughnuts
      • Kid-Friendly Category
      • Marketer Focus: Jimmy Dean
      • Not Just for Kids
    • Marketing Trends: Beverages
      • Juice's Comeback
      • Focusing on the Fruit
  • Consumer Trends - Highlights
  • Consumer Trends
    • Introduction
      • Methodology
      • Though Time-Pressed, Most Americans Try to Eat Healthier
      • Decline in Restaurant Traffic a Plus for Frozen Foods
        • Table Level of Agreement with Statement, "I Am Spending Less on Groceries These Days Because of the Economy," Summer 2010 (percent of U.S. adults) Level of Agreement Percent
      • Opportunities Remain to Make Gains at Expense of Restaurants
        • Table Responses to Question, "In Comparison to Right Now, How Much Money Do You Plan to Spend on Meals Eaten at Full-Service Restaurants During the Following 3 Months?" Summer 2010 (percent of U.S. adults)
        • Table Responses to Question, "In Comparison to Right Now, How Much Money Do You Plan to Spend on Meals Eaten at Fast-Food Restaurants During the Following 3 Months?" Summer 2010 (percent of U.S. adults)
        • Table Responses to Question, "In Comparison to Right Now, How Much Money Do You Plan to Spend on Takeout/Delivery/Drive-Thru Meals Eaten at Full-Service Restaurants During the Following 3 Months?" Summer 2010 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • 72% of Americans Eat Frozen Prepared Foods
      • Slight Uptick in Demand for Frozen Foods
      • "Eating Out" Loses Out to "Eating In"
      • Taste of Store-Prepared Hot Food Preferred Over Frozen
      • Frozen Foods Considered a Top Value
      • Combining Fresh with Frozen
        • Table Percent of Adults Who Have Eaten a Meal Composed Solely or Composed Partially of Store-Bought Frozen Prepared Food Items in the Last 3 Months: By Daypart Fall 2010 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Retail Purchasing Patterns for Frozen Prepared Meal Items
        • Table Where Have You Purchased Packaged Frozen Prepared Meal Items In The Past 3 Months? (percent of U.S. adults)
      • (Almost) All Scream for Ice Cream
        • Table Usage Rates for Selected Frozen Product Categories: 2006, 2008 and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
    • Consumer Trends: Frozen Center Plate Products
      • Frozen Pizza Most Popular Center Plate Category
      • Who's Eating Frozen Center Plate Products
        • Table Usage Overview for Frozen Center Plate Products: 2006, 2008 and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Frozen Center Plate Products: By Category, 2010 (U.S. households)
    • Consumer Trends: Frozen Desserts
      • Ice Cream Eaten in 87% of Households
      • Who's Eating Frozen Desserts
        • Table Usage Overview for Frozen Dessert Products: 2006, 2008 and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Frozen Dessert Products: By Category, 2010 (U.S. households)
    • Consumer Trends: Frozen Vegetables, Appetizers/Snacks and Sides
      • Plain Vegetables the Most Popular Type
      • Who's Eating Frozen Vegetables, Appetizers/Snacks and Sides
        • Table Usage Overview for Frozen Vegetables, Appetizers/Snacks and Sides: 2006, 2008 and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Frozen Vegetables, Appetizers/Snacks, and Sides: By Category, 2010 (U.S. households)
    • Consumer Trends: Frozen Breakfast Foods
      • Half of U.S. Households Eat Frozen Breakfast Pastries
      • Who's Eating Frozen Breakfast Foods?
        • Table Usage Overview for Frozen Breakfast Foods: 2006, 2008 and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Frozen Breakfast Foods: By Category, 2010 (U.S. households)
    • Consumer Trends: Frozen Orange Juice
      • Fewer U.S. Households Using Frozen Orange Juice
      • Who's Drinking Frozen Orange Juice?
        • Table Usage Overview for Frozen Orange Juice: 2006, 2008 and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Frozen Orange Juice, 2010 (U.S. households)
  • Looking Ahead - Highlights
  • Looking Ahead
    • Trends and Opportunities
      • Restarting the Engines
      • Healthy Eating Continues to Influence New Frozen Products
      • Portion Sizes Become Smaller, Larger
      • Low-Sodium Trend Taking Off
      • Increasing Demand for Products Targeting Special Dietary Needs
      • Stricter Guidelines for Natural
      • Private-Label Progress
      • "Green" Concerns Become Priority
      • Competition with Fresh, Shelf-Stable Products
      • Channel Blurring
      • Supermarkets Go Natural
      • Small Marts Still Seeking a Niche
      • Health & Natural Food Stores Continue Move to Mainstream
      • Mass Merchandisers Expand Food Selections
      • Warehouse Clubs Build on Frozen Food Offerings
      • Frozen Food E-tailers Exploit Advantages Over Brick-and-Mortar
      • Beyond the Web
      • Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, Then…
      • Location-Based Social Media: Yelp, Foursquare and Hotpot
      • Focus on Savings: Groupon, Woot and Blippy
      • What's Next: Social Media Aggregators and Mobile Connectivity
  • Addresses of Selected Trade Associations, Marketers and Retailers

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