The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) on March 13 launched a national effort to encourage consumers to take a fresh look at frozen foods through the “Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh” category education and promotion initiative. The three-year initiative, financed at $30 per annum, is the centerpiece of a first-of-a kind national dialogue to inform and remind consumers that freezing simply pauses just-picked, just-baked and just-crafted foods, locking in their freshness, flavor and nutrients. The campaign aims to engage consumers where they live, work and shop through national television, digital and print advertising, online engagement and in-store and out-of-store promotion.
The promotion comes at a time when retail frozen food sales are lagging in the USA, as receipts have fallen by 3% to $8.92 billion between 2009 and 2013, according to Euromonitor International. Furthermore, the numbers crunching company predicts that revenues will likely slide by another 2% this year.
“Keeping food fresh is what freezing is all about,” said Kraig R. Naasz, president and ceo of McLean, Virginia-based AFFI. “Freezing is simply nature’s pause button that keeps fresh foods at their peak of freshness. We are excited to talk with consumers about the many benefits of frozen food and encourage shoppers to visit the frozen food aisle and take a fresh look at frozen.”
The “Frozen. How Fresh Stays Fresh.” consumer education initiative is being supported by AFFI members who make some of America’s most popular food products, including ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Heinz, Hillshire Brands, Pinnacle Foods (which is being acquired by Hillshire), Jasper Wyman & Son, Kellogg’s, Lakeside Foods, Nestlé USA, Schwan’s Foods and Seneca Foods.
America’s frozen food makers supporting the “Frozen. How Fresh Stays Fresh.” initiative invite consumers to take a fresh look at the wide variety of tasty, healthy and easy-to-prepare products in the frozen food aisle. He a snapshot of the products that can be found in the frozen food aisle:
- ConAgra Foods: As one of North America’s largest food makers with branded and private branded food found in 99 percent of America’s households, Omaha, Nebraska-based ConAgra Foods’ frozen meal portfolio gives families access to real ingredients like crunchy, freshly-cut vegetables, homemade pasta and ripe fruit year-round. From the time it’s prepared to the time it’s eaten, meals from Marie Callender’s®, Healthy Choice®, Banquet®, PF Chang’s®, Bertolli®, Kid Cuisine® and Odom’s Tennessee Pride® lock-in fresh, just-made taste. ConAgra Foods introduced a better way of cooking in the microwave through its innovative steaming and baking technologies and continues to evolve its offerings based on new trends, improved cooking techniques and dietary preference. For more information, visit www.ConAgraFoods.com.
- General Mills: This company, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a leader in bringing healthy vegetables, home-cooked frozen snacks, breakfasts and meals to on-the-go families. In 2013, General Mills launched the Totinos®Bold Pizza Rolls line and an Old El Paso® range of premium Mexican entrées. Additionally, its Green Giant® unit continues to serve up delicious ways to make vegetables exciting with its unique blends, sauces and seasonings. For more information, visit www.GeneralMills.com.
- H.J. Heinz: Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, H.J. Heinz, one of the world’s leaders in healthy, convenient and affordable foods, has launched dozens of frozen innovations over the past year. From Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® oatmeal and fajitas to all-natural Ore-Ida® Simply fries, Heinz continues to expand its portfolio with new flavor profiles, updated packaging with easy-to-read labels and options for a variety of dietary preferences. For more information, visit www.Heinz.com.
- Hillshire Brands: Chicago, Illinois-based Hillshire Brands is an innovative food leader with iconic brands such as Jimmy Dean®, the number one brand on the frozen breakfast category, Sara Lee® and State Fair®. Hillshire also has launched numerous frozen products in the past year, including Ball Park® Flame Grilled Turkey Patties. For more information, visit www.HillshireBrands.com.
- Kellogg’s: Among this Battle Creek, Michigan-based company popular frozen food brands are Eggo, MorningStar Farms, Special K and Kashi. Recent convenient breakfast innovations include Eggo Bites in microwavable pouches and hand-held Special K breakfast sandwiches. MorningStar Farms expanded its vegetarian options with Roasted Garlic and Quinoa burgers, while Kashi added the bold flavor of Greek Tzatziki and Indian Tikka Masala pizzas. For more information, visit www.Kelloggs.com.
- Nestlé USA: With corporate headquarters in Glendale, California, it makes many of the best-loved food brands in America, including Stouffer’s® and Lean Cuisine® entrees and snacks, Hot Pockets® and Lean Pockets® brand sandwiches and DiGiorno ®, California Pizza Kitchen®, Tombstone® and Jack’s® brand pizzas. Nestlé USA is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland – the world’s largest food company, committed to Nutrition, Health & Wellness. For news and information, visit www.NestleUSA.com or Facebook.com/NestleUSA.
- Pinnacle Foods: This Parsippany, New Jersey-based company is a leading producer, marketer and distributor of high quality branded food products. Its Birds Eye Frozen Division manages brands such as Birds Eye®, Birds Eye Steamfresh®, C&W®, McKenzie’s®, and Freshlike® frozen vegetables, Birds Eye Voila!® complete bagged frozen meals, Van de Kamp’s® and Mrs. Paul’s® frozen prepared seafood, Hungry-Man® frozen dinners and entrées, Aunt Jemima® frozen breakfasts, Lender’s® frozen and refrigerated bagels, and Celeste® frozen pizza. For more information, visit www.PinnacleFoods.com.
- Schwan’s Foods: Schwan’s Freschetta® frozen pizzas are made with all-natural cheeses, meat, crunchy vegetables and flavorful sauces, all on top of signature crusts. For more information on Freschetta® and other popular brands like Red Baron® and Tony’s® pizza, Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts and Pagoda Express® specialties visit the Marshall, Minnesota-based company’s website: www.TheSchwanFoodCompany.com