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Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks

  • December 2014
  • -
  • Packaged Facts
  • -
  • 118 pages

Although freezing has been used for thousands of years as a method for preserving food, the modern technology for food preservation through freezing was only developed less than 100 years ago. Frozen food sales progressed slowly for the first few decades of their existence but in the 1950s, as home refrigeration took off, sales of frozen picked up rapidly. A key factor was the introduction of complete meals in the form popularly known as TV dinners.

In the last few years sales of frozen foods have hit a wall as a result of a growing demand from consumers for fresh foods, perceived as being healthier than frozens. This is true for all four of the frozen food categories covered in the new Packaged Facts report, Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Appetizers/Snacks. The categories are frozen dinners/entrees, frozen pizza, frozen side dishes, and frozen appetizers/snacks.

While frozen foods might have survived this trend with little damage to sales because of their convenience and relatively lower prices, retail groceries have dealt a them a second blow. Retailers have invested in promoting ready-to-eat or heat-and-eat meals created fresh daily in their stores and easily accessible to consumers though enhanced ordering, pick-up and delivery services.

The latter leverage digital media and especially the use of mobile device by most all consumers. Added to this, foodservice operators are also increasing their use of digital media to provide consumers with greater convenience. Both sources are beating frozen foods at their own game, with foods that require even less time and effort to prepare than traditional frozen products. In order to fight back, frozen food marketers are working to provide customers with more variety and lower prices. They are also looking to offer more natural and organic products that consumers products can identify as healthy.

Despite the efforts, Packaged Facts estimates the overall sales of the products in the four categories covered were just over $22 billion in 2013, down by about 1% from 2012. Sales in 2012 were also down by one percent from 2011. Looking forward, Packaged Facts estimates that the categories under consideration will be essentially flat for 2014 but collectively enjoy a small but steady increase through 2018 at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.07% to top $23 billion that year.

Scope and Methodology

Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Appetizers/Snacks covers frozen food products sold through all types of retail outlets, including supermarkets, discount stores and supercenters, warehouse clubs, and mass merchandisers, as well as convenience stores, drugstores, health and natural food stores, dollar stores, farms and farmers markets.

Market estimates within this report were based on both public and syndicated data sources. Packaged Facts has analyzed available sales and trend data, together with information pertaining to those products that move through unmonitored outlets, to estimate the total size of the market for the products in the categories under consideration.

Sales and market size data sources include:
IRI sales tracking through U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers (including Target, Kmart, and Wal-Mart) with annual sales of $2 million or more.
U.S. Census Bureau retail food sales data from the Economic Census surveys, annual retail channel sales, non-employer statistics.
U.S. Bureau of Economic analysis annual estimates for consumer spending by food type
Major food and beverage retailer annual reports for individual retailer sales
Publicly available data from other industry sources including trade associations such as the Frozen Foods Institute and print and online publications such as Food Navigator.com.
Packaged Facts also draws on a proprietary Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in July/August 2014.

Information on new product introductions was derived from examination of the retail milieu and from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including company literature and annual reports.

Table Of Contents

Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks
Chapter 1 Executive Summary
Scope of Report
Methodology
Market Overview
Product Categories Covered
Frozen Food Development
Market Size
Table 1-1 Overall Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishesand Appetizers/Snacks, 2009-2014 (millions of dollars)
Table 1-2 Sales by Category of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side
Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2009-2014 (millions of dollars)
Figure 1-1 Share by Category of Overall Sales of Frozen
Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2014(percent share of dollar sales)
The Challenge of Freshness
Frozen Organic Products Buck Trend
The Demand for Convenience
Growth of Snacking
Projected Market Growth
Table 1-3 Projected Overall Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas,
Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2014-2019 (millions of dollars,percent)
Variety, Healthier Ingredients, and Pricing Are Keys to Growth
The Marketers
Figure 1-2 Marketer Shares of Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2013 (percent share of dollarsales)
Table 1-4 Company Participation by Category
Product Trends
Retail and Foodservice Trends
Figure 1-3 Private Label Share of Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2013 (percent share of dollar sales)
Consumer Trends
Figure 1-4 Do you personally purchase packaged frozen (to be heated/microwaved) hot meal items such as frozen dinners/entrees, frozen pizzas, frozen appetizers/snacks, or frozen vegetables/side dishes?, 2014
Frozen Side Dishes Have Highest Household Use
Table 1-5 Household Usages Rates for Selected Frozen Food Products, 2014 (percent)
Chapter 2 Market Overview
Key Points
Market Categories
Overall Market at $22 Billion
Table 2-1 Overall Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2009-2014 (millions of dollars)
Table 2-2 Sales by Category of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2009-2014 (millions of dollars)
Figure 2-1 Share by Category of Overall Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2014(percent share of dollar sales)
Close to $21 Billion in IRI-Tracked Sales
Table 2-3 IRI-Tracked Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2013-2014 (millions of dollars,percent)
Dollar Sales, Unit, and Volume Sales Decrease
Table 2-4 IRI-Tracked Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2013-2014 (dollar sales change, unit sales change, volume change)
Frozen Dinner/Entree Sales Down From 2009
Table 2-5 Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, 2009-2014 (millions of dollars, percent)
Single-Serve Entrees Are Largest Segment
Figure 2-2 IRI-Tracked Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees Segments,2013 (millions of dollars, percent)
Slight Growth for Frozen Pizza
Table 2-6 Sales of Frozen Pizzas, 2009-2014 (millions of dollars, percent)
Side Dishes See Growth
Table 2-7 Sales of Frozen Side Dishes, 2009-2014 (millions of dollars,percent)
Plain Vegetables Account for Over Half of Category
Figure 2-3 IRI-Tracked Sales of Frozen Side Dish Segments, 2013(millions of dollars, percent)
Five-Year Growth in Frozen Appetizers/Snacks
Table 2-8 Sales of Frozen Appetizers/Snacks, 2009-2014 (millions of dollars, percent)
Appetizer/Snack Rolls Dominate in Their Category
Figure 2-4 IRI-Tracked Sales of Frozen Appetizer/Snack Segments, 2013 (millions of dollars, percent)
Market Outlook
Frozen Foods: A Challenged Market
Sixty Years of Popularity
Impact of Economy
The Challenge of Freshness
Frozen Organic Products Buck Trend
The Demand for Convenience
Figure 2-5 In the past 12 months, in which way did you most often
purchase pizza?, 2014
Retailers Push Convenience of Non-Frozen Foods
Growth of Snacking
E-Ordering and Delivery/Pick-Up Service: Implications for Frozens
Variety, Healthier Ingredients, and Pricing Are Keys to Growth
Projected Market Growth
Table 2-8 Projected Overall Sales of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas,Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2014-2019 (millions of dollars,percent)
Table 2-9 Projected Overall Sales by Category of Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizers/Snacks, 2014 vs. 2019 (millions of dollars, percent change)
Chapter 3 The Marketers
Key Points
Leading Marketers
Figure 3-1 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Dinners/Entrees, Pizzas,Side Dishes and Appetizer/Snacks, 2013 (percent share of dollar sales)
Table 3-1 Company Participation by Category
Nestle Leads Multi-Serve Frozen Entree Marketers
Figure 3-2 Marketer Share of Sales for Multi-Serve Frozen Dinners/Entrees, 2013 (percent share of dollar sales)
Nestle Also Tops in Single-Serve Frozen Dinners/Entrees
Figure 3-3 Marketer Share of Sales for Single-Serve Frozen Dinners/Entrees, 2013 (percent share of dollar sales)
Nestle Leads in Hand-Held (Non-Breakfast) Frozen Entrees
Figure 3-4 Marketer Share of Sales for Hand-Held (Non-Breakfast)
Frozen Entrees, 2013 (percent share of dollar sales)
ConAgra Dominates Frozen Pot Pie Segment
Figure 3-5 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Pot Pie, 2013(percent share of dollar sales)
Independent Marketers Lead Frozen Chili
Figure 3-6 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Chili, 2013(percent share of dollar sales)
Nestle on Top in Frozen Pizza
Figure 3-7 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Pizza, 2013(percent share of dollar sales)
Unilever Has Half of the Frozen Soups Market
Figure 3-8 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Soup, 2013(percent share of dollar sales)
Pinnacle Leads Several Competitors Frozen Sides Market
Figure 3-9 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Sides, 2013(percent share of dollar sales)
General Mills Tops Appetizer/Snack Roll Segment
Figure 3-10 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Appetizer/Snacks, 2013(percent share of dollar sales)
JandJ Snack Foods Has Frozen Pretzels in a Knot
Figure 3-11 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Pretzels, 2013(percent share of dollar sales)
Competition in Breaded Vegetables Segment
Figure 3-12 Marketer Share of Sales from Frozen Breaded Vegetables,2013 (percent share of dollar sales)
Heinz Dominates Frozen Dips
Figure 3-13 Marketer Share of Sales for Frozen Dips, 2013(percent share of dollar sales)
Leading Marketers
Nestle Dominates Frozen Sector
Table 3-2 Nestle Brands by Category
ConAgra Has Strong Brands
Table 3-3 ConAgra Brands by Category
Schwan's Strong in Pizza
Table 3-4 Schwan Brands by Category
Pinnacle Follows Multiple Brand Strategy
Table 3-5 Pinnacle Brands by Category
Heinz Has Major Partners
Table 3-6 Heinz Brands by Category
Amy's Kitchen Well-Positioned for Growth
Table 3-7 Amy's Kitchen Brands by Category
General Mills Set to Grow
Table 3-8 General Mills Brands by Category
Other Key Marketers
On-Cor a Multi-Serve Leader
Gourmet Express Offers Multi-Serve Competition
Bellisio a Single-Serve Leader
Table 3-9 Bellisio Brands by Category
Ruiz a Leader in Hand-Held
Tyson/Hillshire a Major Participant in Hand-Held
Table 3-10 Tyson/Hillshire Brands by Category
White Castle a Long Time Top Hand-Held Brand
Willow Tree Makes a Mark in Pot Pies
Skyline the Big Name in Frozen Chili
Table 3-11 El Encanto Brands by Category
Unilever Dominates Frozen Soup Segment
Tabatchnick a Frozen Soup Pioneer
JandJ Snack Foods Is King of Frozen Pretzels
Private Label Has Minor Role
Media, Advertising, and Promotions
Marketers Challenged by New Media
Illustration 3-1 Banquet Online Puzzle
Entering the Digital World
Getting Personal
Illustration 3-2 Vedett Website Invitation to Submit Photos
Digital Couponing Underdeveloped Opportunity
Evidence of Social Media Presence of Frozen Foods
Table 3-12 Frozen Pizza Brands: Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers
Table 3-13 Frozen Hand-held Entree Brands: Facebook Likes and
Twitter Followers
Illustration 3-3 Hot Pockets Facebook Page Posting: "College dorm
survival kit�
Illustration 3-4 Kate Upton Hot Pockets Online Video featuring Snoop
Dogg
Illustration 3-5 Hungry Man and the Male Diner
Consumers Want to Companies That Do Good
Chapter 4 Product Trends
Key Points
Frozen Dinners/Entrees
Salad Additions: A Reversal of Hamburger Helper
Illustration 4-1 Lean Cuisine Salad Additions Asian Style Chicken
Illustration 4-2 Lean Cuisine Wrap Additions Chicken Teriyaki
Spicy, Hispanic Flavors Featured as Lines Expand
Illustration 4-3 Hungry Man Limited Edition Chipotle BBQ Boneless
Chicken Wyngz
Illustration 4-4 Hungry Man Selects Spicy Classic Fried Chicken
Illustration 4-5 Atkins Mexican-Style Chicken and Vegetables
Illustration 4-6 Chili's Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl
Gourmet and Exotic Frozen Dinners/Entrees
Illustration 4-7 Saffron Road Beef Bulgogi
Illustration 4-8 Saffron Road Gochujang Chicken
Illustration 4-9 Saffron Road Chicken Pad Thai
Illustration 4-11 Saffron Road Three Cheese Lasagna
Illustration 4-10 Saffron Road Manchurian Dumplings
Illustration 4-12 Saffron Road Moroccan Lamb Stew
Pulled Pork and Barbecue
Illustration 4-13 Hungry Man Selects Pulled Pork
Illustration 4-14 Curly's Pulled BBQ
Illustration 4-15 FarmRich Smokehouse Pulled Pork BBQ
Illustration 4-17 FarmRich Smokehouse Pulled Chicken BBQ
Illustration 4-16 FarmRich Smokehouse Dry Rub Smoked Pork
Illustration 4-18 FarmRich Smokehouse Pulled Beef Brisket
Slow Cooker Entrees
Illustration 4-19 Banquet Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast
Illustration 4-20 Banquet Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
Family Size
Illustration 4-21 Amy's Family Size Entrees
Illustration 4-22 Annie's Family Size Butternut Squash Macaroni and
Cheese
Illustration 4-24 Annie's Family Size Shells and White Cheddar with
Chicken
Illustration 4-23 Annie's Family Size Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Illustration 4-25 Annie's Family Size Lasagna with Meat Sauce
Single-Serve Entrees
Illustration 4-26 Stouffer's Classic Mac and Cheese Cups
Illustration 4-27 Stouffer's Cheeseburger Mac Cups
Illustration 4-28 Stouffer's White Cheddar and Bacon Mac Cups
Illustration 4-29 Bertolli Rustico Bakes Creamy Spinach Rollatini
Illustration 4-30 Bertolli Al Dente Tortellini Margherita
Meals for Two
Illustration 4-31 Bertolli Classic Style Meals for 2
Illustration 4-32 Bertolli Mediterranean Style Meals for 2
For the Dieter
Illustration 4-33 Atkins Shrimp Scampi
Illustration 4-34 Atkins Swedish Meatballs
Illustration 4-35 Amy's Light and Lean Entrees
Healthy Alternatives
Illustration 4-36 Amy's Frozen Entree Bowl Biodynamic Vegetable
Penne and Marinara
Frozen Chili
Illustration 4-37 Guy Fieri Turkey Chili Mac and Cheese
Frozen Soup
Illustration 4-38 Tabatchnick Wilderness Wild Rice Soup
Illustration 4-39 Tabatchnick Soup Single Split Pea
Illustration 4-40 Bertolli Meal Soup for 2 Roasted Chicken and Rotini
Pasta
Illustration 4-41 Bertolli Meal Soup for 2 Ricotta and Lobster Ravioli
in a Seafood Bisque
Frozen Hand-Held Entrees
Illustration 4-42 Saffron Road Korean Style Taco with Chicken
Illustration 4-43 El Monterey Tamales
Illustration 4-44 Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt
Frozen Pot Pies
Illustration 4-45 Bertolli Italian Style Tortas
Frozen Pizza
Illustration 4-46 Kashi Indian Tikka Masala Traditional Crust Pizza
Illustration 4-47 California Pizza Kitchen Greek Recipe
Illustration 4-48 Red Baron Mexican Style Pizza
Illustration 4-49 Against the Grain Gourmet Pizza
DIGiorno Goes D-I-Y
Illustration 4-50 DiGiorno Design A Pizza Kit
Frozen Side Dishes
Illustration 4-51 Ore Ida Extra Crispy Easy Tater Tots
Illustration 4-52 Green Giant Steamers
Illustration 4-53 Birds Eye Steamfresh Chef's Favorite
Illustration 4-54 Birds Eye Steamfresh Chef's Favorites
Illustration 4-55 Birds Eye Steamfresh Chef's Favorites
Illustration 4-56 Birds Eye Steamfresh Chef's Favorites
Illustration 4-57 Dr. Praeger's Root Vegetable Pancakes
Frozen Appetizers/Snacks
Illustration 4-58 Totino's Pizzeria Meatball Marinara Rolls
Illustration 4-59 Totino's Pizzeria Chicken Parmesan Rolls
Illustration 4-60 Totino's Pizzeria Cheesy Garlic Rolls
Illustration 4-61 FarmRich Appetizers and Snacks
Illustration 4-62 Sol Cuisine Organic BBQ Tofu Ribs
Chapter 5 Retail and Foodservice Trends
Key Points
Retailers Present Big Challenge to Frozen Foods
Illustration 5-1 Price Chopper's Market Bistro's Bistro Boulevard
Ready to Eat Drives C-Store Growth
Dollar Stores a Hope for Frozens
Digitizing for Even Greater Convenience
Illustration 5-2 Whole Foods and Instacart
Illustration 5-3 Giant Eagle Mobile App
Private Label on the Rise in C-Stores and Dollar Stores
Figure 5-1 Private Label Share of Sales for Frozen Dinners/Entrees,Pizzas, Side Dishes and Appetizer/Snacks Sales, 2013 (percent share of dollar sales)
The Divided Retail Grocery Market
Frozen Food Trends in Foodservice
Dining Out Losing to Dining At Home
Illustration 5-4 Olo Mobile App for Five Guys Restaurants
Leveraging Brand Identity to Retail
Illustration 5-5 Heinz/T.G.I. Friday's Mozzarella Sticks
Illustration 5-6 Heinz/T.G.I. Friday's Anytime Sliders
Illustration 5-7 Heinz/T.G.I. Friday's Green Bean Fries
Foodservice and Frozens
Chapter 6 Consumer Trends
Key Points
Consumer Trends: Healthfulness, Quality, Convenience, and Cost
A Changing Definition of Healthiness
Quality and Healthfulness Related For Some
Taste a Constant
Cost Remains a Challenge
Opportunities in Frozen
Two Consumer Classes
Overall Consumer Trends
Majority of Consumers Purchase Products in Covered Categories
Figure 6-1 Do you personally purchase packaged frozen(to be heated/microwaved) hot meal items such as frozen dinners/entrees, frozen pizzas, frozen appetizers/snacks, or frozen vegetables/side dishes?, 2014
Frozen Side Dishes Have Highest Household Use
Table 6-1 Frozen Product Use by Households, 2014
Majority of Consumers Sometimes or Always Have Frozen Products on Hand
Table 6-2 Do you keep any of the following frozen products in your freezer, even if not necessarily for using soon?, 2004
African Americans, Students, Households With Children Favor Frozen
Table 6-3 Index of Frozen Category Use by Demographic Segment, 2014
Table 6-4 Index of Category Use by Number of Children in Household, 2014
Consumer Trends: Frozen Dinners/Entrees
Figure 6-2 "These days, compared with three years ago, I am buying more packaged frozen meals,� 2014
Quality Most Important Factor in Frozen Dinner/Entree Selection
Table 6-5 Importance of Various Factors in Frozen Hot Meal Item
Purchasing Decisions, 2014
Supermarkets
Table 6-6 Where do you purchase packaged frozen(to be heated/microwaved) hot meal items?, 2014
Frozen Dinners/Entrees Seen as Most Affordable
Figure-6-3 Which type of packaged items for hot meals are typically most affordable?, 2014
Frozens Lag in Quality Image
Figure 6-4 Which type of packaged items for hot meals are typically the highest quality?, 2014
Frozens Viewed as Having More Preservatives
Figure 6-5 Which type of packaged items for hot meals typically have the fewest additives or preservatives?, 2014
Frozen Prepared Meals Identified as Most Convenient
Figure 6-6 Which type of packaged items for hot meals are typically the most convenient to prepare?, 2014
Consumer Trends: Frozen Pizza
Over Half of Consumers Purchased Frozen Pizza in Past Year
Figure 6-7 In the past 12 months, have you purchased a frozen pizza?, 2014
A Third of Consumers Say Frozen Pizza Purchases Have Increased
Figure 6-8 Compared to a few years ago, are you eating less, about the same, or more frozen pizza?, 2014
Figure 6-9 These days, compared with three years ago, I am buying more packaged frozen pizzas, 2014
Consumer Trends: Frozen Appetizers/Snacks
Less Than a Third of Consumers Buying More Frozen
Appetizers/Snacks
Figure 6-10 These days, compared with three years ago, I am buying more packaged frozen appetizers/snacks, 2014
Consumer Trends: Frozen Side Dishes
Table 6-7 Purchasing of Frozen Products by Category, 2011 vs. 2014
Figure 6-11 These days, compared with three years ago, I am buying more packaged frozen vegetables/side dishes, 2014

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