Find Today’s Hottest Food Trends in the Frozen Food Aisle!

It’s March Frozen Food Month – a Great Time to Check Out New and Innovative Cuisines in the Cool Aisles of your Grocery Store

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 5, 2020 – If you enjoy breakfast foods at any time of the day, or you prefer snacking and small plates over traditional meals, or you embrace a more plant-based diet – then you are in good company with many Americans and their lifestyle and dietary preferences.

View the entire multimedia news release and multimedia assets on PRNewswire.com

State of the Industry infographic header

NFRA State of Industry Report Shows Impressive Category Power

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) recently released its State of the Industry Report providing broad-based insights that show how the frozen and refrigerated foods categories attract shoppers, drive shopping trips, build shopping basket dollars and deliver sales.

Today’s frozen and dairy departments are clearly connecting with shoppers showing combined sales of $125 billion in the 52 weeks ending June 29, 2019. Nearly every U.S. household buys from the frozen and dairy departments annually, and the diverse appeal of these products crosses generational, multicultural and socio-economic demographics.

With an average buying frequency of 70 trips per year, shoppers are coming to the store more than once a week to make a purchase from the frozen and dairy aisles. The average frozen and dairy department shopper spends $13.44 per trip – making these departments important for increasing the dollar sales of each shopping basket. 

“Both the frozen and dairy departments have strong, broad appeal among consumers with the potential to drive short- and long-term growth for retailers. In 2019, dollar and unit sales increased in both departments attesting to consumers’ renewed excitement about the innovative products they can find there,” says NFRA President and CEO Skip Shaw.

The frozen department showed two years of back-to-back growth with sales of $54.6 billion delivering $918 million in growth. The top-five selling frozen department categories were ice cream ($6.7B), pizza ($4.8B), seafood ($4.8B), novelties ($4.6B) and complete meals ($4.5B). Pizza, seafood, novelties, vegetables and prepared potatoes all showed solid growth with an increased percentage of dollar sales ranging from 3.7 to 5.1 percent versus the prior 52-weeks.

The frozen department drives 31 trips per buying household annually and adds $10.90 to shopping baskets per trip. Ice cream and vegetables are the categories with the highest household penetration, showing up in more than 80% of homes. With half of U.S. households having access to more than one freezer, there is opportunity to take advantage of this extra capacity.

“Frozen foods have seen strong growth over the last few years as innovative products now align with consumers’ demands for organic, plant-based, gluten-free and so much more,” states Shaw. “NFRA’s consumer PR efforts have been successfully working to tell this positive story about today’s frozen foods. It’s real food, just frozen.”

The dairy department is the second largest edible department in the supermarket (excluding alcoholic beverages) with sales of $71 billion and delivering $550 million in year-over-year growth. Sixty-eight percent of all dairy department sales are concentrated in the top-five selling categories – cheese ($16.3B), milk products ($13.3B), beverages ($8.6B), yogurt ($7.2B) and eggs ($5.8B). The three top-selling categories showing meaningful long- and short-term growth are cream & creamers, meal combos and prepared foods.

More than 90% of households purchase cheese, eggs, milk products, and butter & margarine. The dairy aisle drives 47 trips per buying household annually with milk products and cheese topping the shopping list. Female head of households aged 35 to 44 years old drive 21% greatersales than other U.S. households.

“Today’s modern dairy aisle has evolved to meet consumers’ changing needs,” says Shaw. “It’s a destination for products that fit every lifestyle including dairy staples, plant-based alternatives and new innovative foods and beverages to satisfy every taste and dietary need. It’s dairy and so much more.”

Conducted by Nielsen and compiled by Todd Hale, LLC, the NFRA 2019 State of the Industry Report identifies key opportunities to drive sustained growth and ensure the frozen and refrigerated food categories receive the proper level of shelf space and merchandising support they deserve.

NFRA’s complete 400+ page 2019 State of the Industry Report is free to NFRA members as a benefit of membership. The NFRA 2019 State of the Industry Executive Summary is available to the public.

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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 October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October which is focused on one-on-one business meetings with trading partners. 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.

NFRA 75th Anniversary logo

National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association Celebrates 75th Anniversary

HARRISBURG, Pa. – In 2020, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) is celebrating 75 years of promoting the sales and consumption of frozen and refrigerated foods and providing a forum for industry dialogue and networking. This special anniversary is being noted with a commemorative 75th anniversary logo, and the Association is holding special activities throughout the year culminating with an all-industry celebration at the NFRA Convention in October at the Gaylord National Harbor.

NFRA was founded in 1945 as “The National Wholesale Frozen Food Distributors.” At a meeting in New York City’s Yale Club, 42 representatives of 36 distributing firms chartered the organization under the leadership of Burton Prince of New Haven, Connecticut. The purpose of the new Association was to give the distributors a “single voice” with which to deal with the government and other segments of the frozen food industry on issues of concern to the wholesale distributors.

“Though the Association has changed in many ways since our formative years, the purpose of NFRA as the organization that brings the industry together to do business and is the collective consumer voice of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry remains true today,” says NFRA President and CEO Skip Shaw.

As the Association entered the 1950s it counted a membership of 107 distributors and 46 associate packer and broker members. In recognition of the broadened membership, the word “Wholesale” was dropped from the organization title in 1955. Four years later, the word “Distributors” was dropped, and the Association became known as the National Frozen Food Association.

A major milestone was achieved in 1984 with the launch of the first March National Frozen Food Month promotion led by Murray Lender of Lender’s Bagels and Ron Lunde of Super Valu. Thirty-six years later, Frozen Food Month is one of the longest running and most successful promotions in the food industry.

In 2001, the refrigerated dairy foods department was incorporated into the Association because of its similarities to frozen in the retail market, and the Association was renamed the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association to recognize its broadened membership. NFRA sponsored its first June Dairy Month in 2003 modeled after the successful Frozen Food Month promotion.

NFRA launched its year-long consumer PR campaigns Real Food. Frozen and Dairy…and Beyond in 2013. Through its Easy Home Meals consumer digital and social channels, the Association speaks on behalf of the industry to thousands of consumers every day.

“The frozen and dairy aisles are essential and influential departments of the store,” says Shaw. “Through years of innovation and adapting to changing consumer habits and preferences, our products offer something for every lifestyle and dietary need. We’re proud that our PR campaigns spread that message to millions of consumers every year, and proud in particular that our efforts to change the conversation and perceptions of frozen foods over the last five years have played a role in the resurgence and positive growth of the frozen food category.”

Today, NFRA has grown to over 400 corporate members from every segment of the industry. These trading partners meet every October at the NFRA Convention for the best “working” meeting focused on conducting business and growing the industry.

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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 October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October. 

Last-Minute Shortcuts for Holiday Cooking and Entertaining

Ease the Stress and Enjoy More Time with Foolproof, Yet Impressive Ideas

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec 13, 2019/PRNewswire/– Bring on the Joy!  Bring on the Cheer! Bring on the…Stress! The holidays this year seem to be arriving quicker than ever…and the pressure is on.  While it is no surprise that holiday cooking and entertaining can be challenging, there are some secret weapons that can save a lot of time in the kitchen.

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Food Association (NFRA) suggests making it easier on yourself and “chill” – the frozen and dairy aisles of your local grocery stores are full of shortcuts and holiday helpers to make preparations easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable for holiday events, family gatherings and even unexpected guests…

View the entire multimedia news release on PRNewswire.com.

Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame Award

Larsen and Thomas Inducted into 2019 Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame

Harrisburg, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) established the Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame in 2010 to honor individuals for the contributions they have made and the leadership they have provided to the Refrigerated Food Industry. John Larsen, Sr. Director of Space Planning for Albertsons Companies and Jeff Thomas, retired Vice President of Sales for Crystal Farms division of Michael Foods, were inducted into the Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame October 14, 2019 at the NFRA Convention in Orlando, Fla.

John Larsen began working at Stock Market Foods/Thriftway as a Grocery Manager in 1984 while he also graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Washington State University. He was promoted to Store Director in 1987, and by 1995 was working as the Promotional Buyer/Advertising Director.

Larsen joined Safeway in 1998 where he was Category Manager in the Seattle Division. He then moved to the Portland Division as Sales Manager and completed the USC Food Industry Management Program in 2002. Prior to the merger of Safeway and Albertsons, Larsen held the role of Vice President of Dairy, Refrigerated in the corporate marketing department at Safeway in Pleasanton, Calif. In his current role, Larsen manages the Space Planning of all of Albertsons 2,400 stores and manages a team of over 50 people corporately, and 120 people across the divisions. His responsibilities include premium store resets, remerchandising of the stores and store remodels.

Larsen began serving on the NFRA Board of Directors in 2005 and served as Vice Chairman of Refrigerated in 2009. He served as Chairman-Elect in 2011 and as Chairman for two terms in 2012 and 2013. It was in 2012 that NFRA began its relationship with Edelman PR and launched its year-round consumer PR campaigns in 2013. Larsen is a member of the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats and Honorable Order of Golden Penguins.

Jeff Thomas spent a lifetime around frozen and refrigerated foods with his grandfather, Carl, and parents, Robert and Rosalyn, owning and working for a local food brokerage. Thomas attended the University of Buffalo and then served three years in the United States Military, including a tour in Vietnam. After returning, he began his career in the food business as a driver for Byrne Dairy in upstate New York. Thomas then joined the family business as a salesman for Reith, Hogan & Hamer food brokerage. He entered the frozen food business with his first position at Seneca Foods and later at Sara Lee.

In 1989, Thomas took a role with Michael Foods to launch the Simply Potatoes refrigerated line—the first of its kind in the dairy case and still one of the company’s leading brands. Over the following 25 years, he worked with the Michael Foods team to grow the company from its formation in 1987 into a multi-billion-dollar manufacturer of foodservice, food ingredient and retail offerings. Thomas retired from Michael Foods in 2014, but currently uses his skills as a logistics volunteer for ICA Foodshelf, where he stocks and maintains inventories of foods to serve the needy.

Thomas began serving on the NFRA Board of Directors in 2003 and served as Vice Chairman of Refrigerated from 2005-2008. He rose through the Officer positions becoming Chairman in 2011. That year, NFRA partnered with Nielsen to conduct its first State of the Industry Report giving NFRA members free access to in-depth research on the frozen and refrigerated food categories as a benefit of membership. Thomas became a member of the Honorable Order of Golden Penguins in 2006.

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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 Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, the June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion and the Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October.

2019 NFRA Convention Welcome Sign

2019 NFRA Convention Breaks Participation Record and Hosts Over 3,000 Retailer Business Appointments

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The 2019 National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention set its highest participation record since 1994 with over 1,350 total attendees who held an estimated 3,000 business appointments with leading retailers. The event held on October 12-15, 2019, at the World Center Marriott, Orlando, Fla. and hosted by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), was designed to bring together leading companies from every segment of the industry in one venue to efficiently and effectively conduct the maximum amount of business in the least amount of time.

Ninety-eight retailers booked meeting rooms to hold customer business appointments. According to a survey of convention attendees, over 65% of retailer participants held more than 20 appointments lasting at least 30 minutes each throughout the event. In addition, some retailers participated in 6-minute speed meetings to accommodate new members and smaller manufacturers who may have difficulty getting regular appointments. Twenty-two retailers set aside time for speed meetings with 100 manufacturers creating an additional 500 meeting slots, a 12% increase over 2018.

From beginning to end, the convention was structured to help attendees make valuable connections. The opening Taste of Excellence Reception on Sunday, October 13, featured 51 manufacturers, including 10 new NFRA member companies, showcasing over 115 of the latest frozen and refrigerated food products.

Headlining the convention at the Monday, October 14 breakfast was Jon Dorenbos, former NFL Player and America’s Got Talent finalist telling his incredible life story through magic. At the Tuesday, October 15 breakfast session, NFRA unveiled its 2019 State of the Industry Report. Todd Hale, former Senior Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Insights with Nielsen presented highlights from the report and facilitated a panel discussion with industry leaders, Tony Hatok, Sr. Director Meat Merchandising, Giant Eagle, Greg Somerville, VP Sales, Land O’Lakes and Matt Lindsay, General Manager Frozen Breakfast, Kellogg’s.

The convention also served as a platform for recognizing NFRA leaders and award recipients. The Annual Membership Luncheon on October 14 included the induction of NFRA’s new officers and directors. Joe D’Alberto, Director Dairy/Frozen, Harris Teeter Team, Acosta Sales & Marketing, was elected as Chairman of the Board. In addition, two new Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame inductees were John Larsen, Albertsons Companies and Jeff Thomas, Crystal Farms (retired).

An Awards Luncheon on October 15 recognized the 2019 Golden Penguin winners for the March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotions. Award winners with the highest scoring entries were revealed as Top Marketers during the luncheon. Seven companies were named Top Marketers for March Frozen Food Month including: Frozen & Refrigerated Food Council of Northern California, B&G Foods/Green Giant, Mrs. T’s Pierogies, Harris Teeter, Weis Markets, IMPACT Group Southwest and C&S Wholesale Grocers. Five companies were named Top Marketers for June Dairy Month including: Frozen & Refrigerated Food Council of Northern California, Land O’Lakes, Albertsons Safeway Southwest, IMPACT Group Southwest and C&S Wholesale Grocers. Three companies were named Top Marketers for the Ice Cream & Novelties promotion including: Graeter’s Ice Cream, Chris’ Food Center and IMPACT Group Southwest.

The 2020 NFRA Convention is set for October 17-20 at the Gaylord National, National Harbor, Md. Registration for the event opens March 1, 2020. For more information, visit NFRAConvention.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 Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties and the Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program.

2019-2020 NFRA Officers

NFRA Elected New Officers and Directors at 75th Annual Membership Meeting

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) elected its Association Officers and Members of the Board of Directors for 2019-2020 at its Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon held October 14, 2019 in Orlando, Fla. The membership meeting was held during the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention at the World Center Marriott.

Joe D’Alberto, Director Dairy/Frozen, Harris Teeter Team, Acosta Sales & Marketing,has been elected as Chairman of the Board. D’Alberto has served on the Board of Directors since 2006. He served as Convention Chairman from 2012-2017, as Secretary from 2017-2018 and Chairman-Elect from 2018-2019. D’Alberto is also a member of the Honorable Order of Golden Penguins and Distinguished Order of Zerocrats.

Other officers sworn in at the Association’s 75th Annual Meeting were: Kevin Schwab, The Pictsweet Company,Chairman-Elect; John Arnold, Sargento Foods, Secretary; Mark Tarzwell, Ateeco, Inc./Mrs. T’s Pierogies, Treasurer; Steve Mayle, General Mills, Vice Chairman – Frozen and Bob Knodle, H.P. Hood, Vice Chairman – Refrigerated.

Newly elected to the Board of Directors were: Derek DeMuth, Ajinomoto Foods North America; Tom DeTrempe, PepsiCo Beverages & Foods; Tom Finn, Rosina Food Products; Bill Kynast, Chobani Global Holdings; Joe Mueller, Kellogg Company; Matt O’Hare, JOH; David Panter, Associated Food Stores; and Kyle Schaefer, Giant Eagle.  

Re-elected to the Board of Directors were: Tye Anthony, Associated Wholesale Grocers; David Bray, Tyson Foods; Rob Cohen, Bozzuto’s; Kristina Cole, Danone North America; Cathy Magistrelli, Wakefern Food Corp.; Mike O’Donnell, UNFI; and Paul Peterson, Lactalis American Group.

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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 June Dairy Month and Ice Cream & Novelties Golden Penguin Winners

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has announced the winners of the Golden Penguin Awards for its 2019 June Dairy Month and Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties promotions. These promotions helped the industry drive traffic in the aisles and increase sales for many categories and brands. For June Dairy Month, NFRA has awarded 36 Gold Awards and 35 Silver Awards. See the complete list of June Dairy winners. For Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties, NFRA has awarded 21 Gold Awards and 21 Silver Awards. See the complete list of Ice Cream & Novelties winners. In addition, 5 companies will be revealed as Top Marketers for June Dairy Month and 3 companies will be revealed as Top Marketers for Ice Cream & Novelties during the NFRA Convention in Orlando.

The Golden Penguin Awards provide an opportunity for companies to be nationally recognized for excellence in merchandising and marketing frozen and refrigerated foods. The Gold award winners will be recognized throughout an Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at NFRA’s Convention, and the Top Marketer awards will be presented. Silver awards are typically presented at the local level at appropriate frozen and refrigerated food association meetings.

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 will be named the Top Marketer.

Retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, sales agents and associations of any size (retail and military) could enter any category applicable to their business. Entries were judged on their own merit taking into consideration organization size and/or 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, Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties promotion, and October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program.  NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October. 

A Good Time To Go “Back to School” on Food Waste

National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association Launches Educational Food Waste Initiative for Teens, Teachers and Parents

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Food waste is the number one component found in America’s landfills. And there is a reason for that. More food than we’d like to admit routinely gets tossed in the trash. In fact, 40 percent of all food produced in the United States is discarded. Twenty percent of the food we buy is never eaten.

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), in partnership with education curriculum specialists Young Minds Inspired (YMI), has developed a No Taste for Food Waste educational program that is addressing food waste by educating future consumers about the problem. Targeted at middle and high school students in family and consumer/environmental science and health classes, the curriculum materials, which include a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, reproducible student activities and more, have been distributed to more than 65,000 targeted educators across the country.

Read more on PRNewswire.com

clear awards plates sitting on black table

NFRA Announces March Frozen Food Month Golden Penguin Winners

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has announced the winners of the Golden Penguin Awards for its 2019 March Frozen Food Month promotion. The March promotion helped the industry drive traffic in the frozen food aisles and increase sales for many categories and brands. NFRA has awarded 36 Gold Awards and 35 Silver Awards. In addition, the highest scoring entry in each of the Overall Marketing Campaign sub-categories will be revealed as Top Marketers during the NFRA Convention in Orlando. See the complete list of winners.

The Golden Penguin Awards provide an opportunity for companies to be nationally recognized for excellence in merchandising and marketing frozen and refrigerated foods. The Gold award winners will be recognized throughout an Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at NFRA’s Convention, and the Top Marketer awards will be presented. Silver awards are typically presented at the local level at appropriate frozen food association meetings.

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 will be named the Top Marketer.

Retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, sales agents and associations of any size (retail and military) could enter any category applicable to their business. Entries were judged on their own merit taking into consideration organization size and/or program budget. Companies can participate in the Golden Penguin competition for NFRA’s other promotions for June Dairy Month and Ice Cream & Novelties.

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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 October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October.