Kevin Schwab

National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association Elected New 2022 Officers and Directors

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) elected its Association Officers and Members of the Board of Directors for 2021-2022 at its Annual Board of Directors meeting held virtually on October 20, 2021.

Kevin Schwab, EVP/CCO Sales & Marketing, The Pictsweet Company,has been elected to serve as Chairman of the Board. Schwab has served on the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2005 and again from 2012 to 2021. He served as Chairman-Elect from 2019-2021. Schwab is also a member of the Honorable Order of Golden Penguins.

Other officers announced at the meeting were: John Arnold, Sargento Foods, Chairman-Elect; Neil Ritchey, InnovAsian Cuisine Enterprises, Secretary; Mark Tarzwell, Ateeco, Inc./Mrs. T’s Pierogies, Treasurer; Tye Anthony, Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), Vice Chairman – Frozen and Joey Bates, Harris Teeter, Vice Chairman – Refrigerated.

Newly elected to the Board of Directors were: Tracy Aquila, Southeastern Grocers; Todd Bostian, Lowes Foods; Jim Buchta, CROSSMARK; Amanda Klane, Yasso, Inc.; Lauren Corprew, General Mills; Mike Ridenour, Kraft Heinz Company; Shannon Sherrard, Graeter’s Ice Cream; and Marcelle Smalley, Oliva International Foods.

Re-elected to the Board of Directors were: Chris Groll, Florida’s Natural; Risa Jenkins, C&S Wholesale Grocers; Bill Kynast, Chobani Global Holding; and Jeff Nelson, IMPACT NSS.

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About National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA)

NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, NFRA is the sponsor of March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion and the Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities at http://www.EasyHomeMeals.com. Further information available at http://www.NFRAweb.org.

clear awards plates sitting on black table

NFRA Announces 2021 Golden Penguin Winners

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has announced the winners of the Golden Penguin Awards for its 2021 annual promotions including March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties. NFRA promotions help the industry drive traffic in the frozen food and dairy aisles and increase sales for many categories and brands. In recognition of those efforts, NFRA has awarded 48 Gold awards and 27 Silver awards for March Frozen Food Month, 22 Gold awards and 25 Silver awards for June Dairy Month, and 31 Gold awards and 45 Silver awards for Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties. See the complete list of winners for all three promotions.  

The Golden Penguin Awards provide an opportunity for companies to be nationally recognized for excellence in merchandising and marketing frozen and refrigerated foods. Following the cancellation of the 2021 NFRA Convention, the winners will be recognized on the association website, NFRAweb.org. In addition, the highest scoring entry in each of the Overall Marketing Campaign sub-categories will be revealed as Top Marketers at 3:00 p.m. EDT on October 19, 2021 on the website.

NFRA’s Golden Penguin Awards program features ten categories that reflect today’s marketing practices, including: In-Store Display, In-Store Event, Community Involvement, Social Media Campaign, Private Brand Campaign and Overall Marketing Campaign with sub-categories for Retailer, Wholesaler, Manufacturer, Sales Agent and Local Association. Plus, the Top Marketer Awards honor the best of the best – the highest scoring entry in each of the Overall Marketing Campaign sub-categories is named the Top Marketer.

Retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, sales agents and associations of any size can enter any category applicable to their business. Entries are judged on their own merit taking into consideration organization size and program budget.

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NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., NFRA is the sponsor of March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion, and Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October. 

Tarnowski & Graeter Headshots

Two Industry Leaders Inducted into 2021 Frozen Food Hall of Fame

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) and the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) are pleased to announce that the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats have inducted two food industry leaders into the 2021 Frozen Food Hall of Fame.

The 2021 inductees are Richard Graeter, president and CEO, Graeter’s Ice Cream Company and Ray Tarnowski, retired president, Philadelphia Warehousing & Cold Storage.

As part of the fourth generation of the Graeter’s Ice Cream legacy, Richard Graeter has been CEO of the company since 2007. His dedication to the artisanal French Pot ice cream making tradition, now used only by Graeter’s, has grown the company significantly by opening stores throughout the Midwest and expanding distribution to grocery stores across the United States. In 2010, Graeter’s opened a new manufacturing plant that was named by Dairy Foods Magazine as its Plant of the Year in 2011. Richard’s leadership has led him to being named an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014 and being inducted into the Specialty Food Association’s Hall of Fame in 2020.

Ray Tarnowski entered the frozen food industry in 1979 when he joined Philadelphia Warehousing & Cold Storage. After five years with the company, he was named President. After a noteworthy 41-year career at Philadelphia Warehousing & Cold Storage, Ray retired in 2020. Upon retirement, he successfully managed the sale of the facility, which was the oldest frozen food warehouse in the U.S. at the time. Over his career, Ray served in many leadership roles, including the World Food Logistics Organization and Global Cold Chain Alliance. Ray served as Treasurer of NFRA for 20 years. He is a member of the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats and the Honorable Order of Golden Penguins.

The induction ceremony will take place at the 2022 NFRA Convention, October 15-18 in Orlando, Fla.

The Frozen Food Hall of Fame was established in 1990 by the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats, an organization of industry members whose purpose is to maintain the tradition of promoting the image and advancement of the frozen food industry. These members nominate and vote on the newest inductees, whose dedication and hard work have greatly benefited the industry. A special industry-wide ceremony honors the imagination and innovation that have ensured the continued growth and success of the frozen food industry.

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Solving the Dinner Dilemma

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association Is Showcasing Quick and Easy Recipes for Family Mealtime

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The struggle is real. As kids and parents trade their carefree summer ways for time-crunched school routines, the dinner dilemma gets even more challenging. With practices, clubs, and meetings, evenings get packed with activities; and dinner becomes an afterthought.

That’s why the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has launched the #CoolFoodForKids campaign on its Easy Home Meals social channels. This Fall, social posts featuring the hashtag #CoolFoodForKids help ease the dinner dilemma with recipes, tips, and more. Creative content shows parents how easy it can be to quickly get a nutritious meal ready, thanks to items from the frozen food and dairy aisles.

“The question of ‘What’s for dinner?’ is a nightly headache for a lot of families,” said Julie Henderson, VP of Communications for NFRA. “Our members offer so many easy and convenient meals for busy families. We want to show parents they can still create a wholesome meal when schedules are busy.”

September is National Family Meals Month™ encouraging families to commit to sharing one more meal at home per week. NFRA offers parents cool solutions for making at-home meals a reality through its Easy Home Meals website and social accounts. EasyHomeMeals.com showcases a delicious mix of quick and easy meals and snacks, as well as how-to videos and other tips to ease the nightly dinner dilemma.

Find recipes and read more on PRNewswire.com

Bringing The Coolest Industry Back Together

NFRA Annual Convention Returns October 16-19 in San Diego

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As the pandemic begins to cool down, one of the frozen and refrigerated industry’s hottest events is coming back face-to-face style.

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association’s (NFRA) Annual Convention, where the entire frozen and refrigerated industry comes together, returns in-person October 16-19, 2021, in San Diego, Calif.

This one-of-a-kind event brings together retailers, manufacturers, sales agents, logistics providers and suppliers of frozen and refrigerated foods – the only event that does so. The event focuses on connecting these distinct segments as well as highlighting new products, insights and thought leadership in the industry.

“The NFRA Convention is our signature event, and we couldn’t be happier to get back to what makes it so special,” said Jeff Rumachik, President & CEO of NFRA. “There’s no other convention where the major companies in the industry come together under one roof and hold thousands of business meetings, allowing attendees to accomplish so much in a short period of time.”

These business meetings that occur over the four-day event are the heart of the NFRA Annual Convention. Over 3,000 meetings are expected to take place between retailers and other industry companies. This gives attendees unprecedented opportunities to connect with the industry and drive their business forward.

“We’re so excited to bring the industry back together this year,” said Julie Henderson, VP of Communications for NFRA. “The business meetings are invaluable to our members, as well as the opportunity to see new products, how the industry is evolving, and the people who are driving it forward.”

Innovation takes center stage right from the beginning. Over 50 manufacturers will have a chance to showcase their latest products at the Taste of Excellence reception on Sunday. It’s a tasty way to start the Convention – with sampling and a chance to catch up with colleagues from other companies and network with new connections.

The convention focuses on looking forward throughout the event. At Monday’s general session, attendees will see a preview of NFRA’s 2021 State of the Industry Report which highlights emerging trends and category insights.

Registration for the NFRA Convention is available at a significant discount for NFRA members. Non-members may register as well. To register, visit NFRAConvention.org or call NFRA at 717-657-8601. To learn more about NFRA, or to join, visit NFRAweb.org.

About National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) 
NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. NFRA sponsors national promotions March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and June/July Ice Cream & Novelties; and provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities through its Easy Home Meals consumer website and social media properties. 

View the release on PRNewswire.com

Today’s Dairy Aisle: Think Beyond the Staples

Hot Trends and Cool Innovation Take Center Stage for June Dairy Month

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 16, 2021 – Compared to its predecessor, today’s modern dairy aisle is barely recognizable. It’s gone from one small corner to half of the perimeter of the store. And the traditional staples, while still very popular, only make up a portion of what’s offered today.

That means the aisle is big…and only getting bigger. That evolution and growth is being celebrated during this June Dairy Month.

Ninety percent of families shop in the dairy aisle. And today, no matter how you’re choosing to or need to eat, the aisle has you covered. According to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association, the dairy aisle has adapted to new lifestyle changes, food trends and important dietary needs over the years.

From plant-based to traditional foods, and snacks to meals, there are a huge assortment of nutritious, protein-packed products as well as many indulgent options to fit every eating occasion and diet.

View the complete multimedia news release on PRNewswire.com

Keeping the Heat Going – Frozen Foods Are Hotter Than Ever

Hot Trends and Cool Innovation Take Center Stage for Frozen Food Month

March 11, 2021 | HARRISBURG, Pa. – Breakfast on-the-go? You got it! Gluten-free meals with all the sides? Simple! Healthy snacks for you and the kids? You’re covered! Easy smaller meals? Check! Meatless Monday? BOOM! Dessert without the guilt? Easy as pie. Dinner with international flair? Done!

Is this some kind of dream world? Nope! All this and so much more can be found on a trip down the frozen food aisle.

No matter how you’re choosing to eat, frozen foods have you covered. According to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), manufacturers are innovating to align their products with today’s consumer dining habits and health trends.

View the complete multimedia news release on PR Newswire.

GIANT to Keynote NFRA Executive Conference

February 22, 2021 | HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) will hold its 29th annual Executive Conference April 19-21, 2021 as an all-digital experience. Attendees can look forward to invaluable insights and industry information on growth, trends and future outlooks from industry experts including a retail presentation by Rebecca Lupfer, Vice President of Center Store Merchandising for The GIANT Company.

The conference begins at 3:00 ET on April 19 and presentations will span the next two days. On Monday, David Portalatin, Senior VP, Food Industry Analyst for NPD Group will provide a look at consumer eating behaviors in the U.S. Colin Stewart, EVP, Business Intelligence for Acosta Sales & Marketing will discuss how post Covid-19 consumer buying behaviors impact retail and CPG.

On Tuesday, Rusty Wilson, CFA, Senior Research Analyst and Partner for Cleveland Research Company will share an overview of key food retail themes and forecasts, and what to expect in 2021 and beyond. John Dick, Founder and CEO of CivicScience will look at the Covid-borne consumer trends that are here to stay. Seth Dallaire, Chief Revenue Officer for Instacart will discuss the last mile and retail and CPG solutions. In addition, Rebecca Lupfer, The GIANT Company, will provide insight into the company’s key frozen and dairy department strategies.

On Wednesday, Kyle Chamberlin, Senior Account Manager for Datassential will share food and flavor trends that should have your attention. The conference closes with Kevin Coupe, Morning News Beat, offering thoughts on what happens when the pandemic-era market defrosts and then facilitating a roundtable discussion that digs deeper into the unique circumstances the industry will face going forward.

Session content and the ability to interact with speakers will only be available to those registered. The cost is $129 for NFRA members, $250 for non-members and retailers/wholesalers are complimentary. Register on the conference website at www.NFRAExecutiveConference.org

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NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry.  Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., NFRA is the sponsor of March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion, as well as educational outreach programs.  NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October. 

Rumachik Appointed President and CEO of the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association

December 11, 2020 | HARRISBURG, Pa. — The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has announced the appointment of Jeff Rumachik as president and CEO of the organization effective January 1, 2021. Rumachik will take over the position following the retirement of H.V. “Skip” Shaw, Jr. after 36 years of service to the association.

Rumachik joined the organization in 2009 as senior vice president. He was promoted to executive vice president and COO in 2012 working closely with Shaw in all aspects of leading the association and executing its mission to promote the sales and consumption of frozen and refrigerated foods.

Rumachik’s background includes over 45 years of experience in the food industry. He was formerly Vice President, Wholesaler and Member Services for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in Chicago. At FMI, he was responsible for providing the overall strategic direction for the wholesaler member segment and managing the staff and resources of the member services function.

Rumachik’s career path has taken him through all levels of store management in both medium and high-volume retail food stores. He has also worked in supervisory and advisory roles with wholesalers, independently owned supermarkets and chain stores of various formats. Prior to joining FMI, in 1991, Rumachik was Instructor of Supermarket Management Training with SUPERVALU.

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About National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA)

NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, NFRA is the sponsor of March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion and the Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities at http://www.EasyHomeMeals.com. Further information available at http://www.NFRAweb.org.

Getting Creative with Super-easy, COVID-friendly Holiday Entertaining Ideas

Let the Freezer and Dairy Aisles Help You Celebrate Small…But in Style!

December 10, 2020 | HARRISBURG, Pa. /PRNewswire/ — The holidays may look quite different this year– thanks to COVID-19. That doesn’t mean we can’t continue holiday traditions and celebrate the season with close family members and great food.

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has some terrific ideas for attending or hosting small holiday gatherings. The key – let’s all do it safely with these entertaining tips and food serving ideas.

View complete release on PR Newswire