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.

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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. 

Cool Off with Summer Favorite Frozen Treats

Beat the Heat…Enjoy Some Surprisingly Sweet Ice Cream Facts…and Enter to Win Ice Cream for a Year!

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today’s big scoop for anyone who enjoys America’s favorite cool treats: National Ice Cream Day is July 21! President Ronald Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month in 1984, and the third Sunday of every July to be National Ice Cream Day.

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Thomas and Larsen

Two Industry Leaders to be 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, will be the recipients of this year’s prestigious award.

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. In 1997, Larsen joined Quality Food Centers, Inc. in Bellevue, Wash. (A Kroger Company) as a Category Manager. He joined Safeway in 1998 where he was Category Manager in the Seattle Division. Larsen 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. He served on the NFRA Board of Directors as Vice Chairman of Refrigerated in 2009. Larsen served as Chairman-Elect in 2011 and as Chairman for two terms in 2012 and 2013. He 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 his team and the whole Michael Foods organization 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 use 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. He served as Vice Chairman of Refrigerated from 2005 – 2008. He rose through the Officer positions becoming Chairman in 2011. Thomas became of member of the Honorable Order of Golden Penguins in 2006.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention during the Membership Luncheon on Monday, October 14, 2019, at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla.

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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.

The Modern Dairy Aisle – A Destination for Every Lifestyle

June is National Dairy Month when you will find special deals, prices and promotions in the cool aisles of your local grocery story. And in celebration of the June promotion, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) sponsors a $10,000 Sweepstakes (enter at www.EasyHomeMeals.com).

Today’s modern dairy aisle is not your grandfather’s dairy aisle. “It has evolved over the years,” says chef, entertaining expert and TV personality James Briscione, “adapting to new lifestyle changes, food trends, and important dietary needs. No longer is it the aisle just for traditional staples like milk, eggs and butter. And it’s definitely not just dairy anymore.”

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Convention Speed Meetings

National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention Slated for October 12-15 in Orlando, Fla.

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The 2019 National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention is the premier event of the frozen and refrigerated food industry, where attendees can discover new products, connect with business partners and grow their business. This event hosted by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) will take place on October 12-15, 2019 at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla.

The NFRA Convention brings together top companies from every segment of the industry so that attendees can conduct business in less time, all in one place. NFRA provides its retailer members with complimentary meeting rooms to hold appointments throughout the convention. The event also provides the opportunity to make new connections, sample frozen and refrigerated products, hear from valuable speakers and network with industry leaders.

The convention kicks off with the popular Taste of Excellence reception on Sunday, October 13, where over 50 manufacturers will showcase their latest products. This engaging opening event allows attendees to interact with industry colleagues, introduce themselves to new contacts and sample the newest items in frozen and refrigerated foods.

This year’s agenda features Monday Breakfast speaker, Jon Dorenbos, magician, former NFL player and America’s Got Talent finalist who will showcase his sleight-of-hand skills, tell his incredible life story and share insights on teamwork, perseverance and acceptance of failure. The Monday Membership Luncheon serves as NFRA’s annual business meeting with the induction of NFRA’s new officers and directors. Monday evening is the NFRA Member Appreciation Reception, which will provide an excellent networking opportunity while celebrating the NFRA membership and their support of the industry.

Tuesday’s breakfast session features a preview of NFRA’s 2019 State of the Industry Report and a panel of industry executives offering insights on how member categories can be leveraged to connect with shoppers and drive industry growth. The Tuesday Awards Luncheon will honor the 2019 Golden Penguin Award winners, and the 2019 Top Marketer Award winners will also be unveiled for the first time.

It is recommended to register by June 7, 2019 to be included in the first attendee list, which is distributed to all registrants so they can schedule their meetings prior to arriving in Orlando. To register for the 2019 NFRA Convention, visit NFRAConvention.org or contact NFRA at (717) 657-8601.

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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. 

Latest Findings from NFRA Show Improved Favorability Toward Frozen Food Category

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ –Aptly timed for ‘National Frozen Food Month’, new media analysis undertaken by the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) showcases growth in positive frozen food content and innovation within the category. Over the past six years, NFRA and its members have invested in consumer outreach through its Real Food. Frozen PR campaign, driving consistent messaging and reinforcing many key frozen food benefits that were identified in the analysis. Growth amongst consumers and online communities identified several key themes through the analysis:

  • NFRA generated a major increase in year- over-year social volume and engagement through its owned and partner content
  • Key frozen food value messages resonated in positive earned media coverage, including convenience, lack of waste, comparable nutrition value, plus budget-friendliness
  • Favorable conversation around frozen foods grew in 2018 as a result of buzz about new product lines, pop-culture tie-ins, and hot grocery-store offerings

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Elevate Your Food Experience During March Frozen Food Month!

What’s Turning Up the Heat?

Today’s innovative frozen products offer something for everyone:

  • Brands and product lines are aligned with new health trends, changing dining habits, and dietary requirements – whether you are looking for vegan, gluten-free, non-dairy, ethnic, organic…the frozen food aisle has it all.
  • You don’t have to sacrifice delicious dishes and trendy flavors just because you’re in a hurry. The freezer aisle offers quality, ready-to-eat full meal, single serve and small plate options – high proteins, low carbs, indulgent flavors, healthy veggies, fruits and more.
  • If you’re a foodie, you can “up your game” and elevate the food experience with versatile high-end frozen products, savory ingredients and entertaining-quality appetizers and desserts, sure to impress family and guests.

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Executive Conference attendees

Weis Markets to Keynote NFRA Executive Conference

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) will hold its 27th annual Executive Conference April 8-10, 2019, at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel & Conference Center in Tempe, Ariz. The conference provides the latest information on consumer and industry trends and features a retail presentation by Kurt Schertle, chief operating officer for Weis Markets.

The conference opens at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, April 8 with the optional Greater Penguin Open Golf Tournament or NFRA Fishing Tournament followed by the evening’s welcome reception. Tuesday, April 9 presents an impressive line-up of interactive speaker presentations, as well as a networking reception. On Wednesday, April 10, the conference concludes by 9:00 a.m. after breakfast and a final informational session.     

The retailer keynote by Kurt Schertle, Weis Markets, kicks off the Tuesday morning sessions followed by Jackie Lewis of Cleveland Research Company discussing the current U.S. retail landscape. Zach Kahn from Google will share how the CPG industry is excelling in digital marketing. Chris von der Linden of IRI will look at frozen and refrigerated purchase drivers by generation. Lynn Dornblaser of Mintelwill discuss global food and drink trends. Dr. John Stanton of St. Joseph’s University will look at generational differences in the workplace, and Ken Harris of Cadent Consulting Group will examine the next wave of commerce including block chain, click and collect and last mile logistics.

The conference closes early on Wednesday when Ken Harris returns to help attendees identify key takeaways and areas of action for their own companies.

To preserve the informal atmosphere that encourages group discussion and more personal interaction, the conference is limited to 150 attendees. You can 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. 

Mr. Food Test Kitchen's Stuffed Phyllo Crisps on plate

Last-Minute Food Hacks and Tips for Holiday Entertaining

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 18, 2018 / PRNewswire — Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year…but sometimes the challenges of food shopping and holiday cooking can turn festive times into stressful times.

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.

Whether it’s for a holiday party, New Year’s Eve get-together or just because, these creamy-dreamy savory Mediterranean Stuffed Phyllo Crisps are always a hit. Visit EasyHomeMeals.com for terrific Holiday recipes!

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) recommends you shop early, keep your fridge and freezer stocked full, and check out the many easy to make holiday appetizers, entrees and desserts like these Mediterranean Stuffed Phyllo Crisps at EasyHomeMeals.com.

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