Frozen Food Retail Trends in the U.S.

Worker in warm apparel using thermometer to assess temperature of frozen packages

[This is the fourth of four briefs covering the state of cold chain logistics.]

Using frozen storage to preserve food has a long history dating back to ancient times; in its earliest form, frozen storage utilized natural ice elements in cold climates. In the late 1920s, a Labradorian engineer named Clarence Birdseye developed a method for flash-freezing foods for mass consumption. The first foods preserved via this method were meats, fish, vegetables, and fruits.

Today, frozen food has expanded far beyond the preservation of foods at their peak freshness. According to the October 2018 issue of Frozen and Refrigerated Buyer Magazine, Americans purchased approximately $13.06 billion worth of frozen foods between late May and mid-August. The most popular of these foods broke down as follows:

Ice cream

$1,489,000,000

Frozen novelties

$1,272,120,000

Pizza

$1,038,820,000

Single-serve dinners/entrees

$968,120,000

Processed chicken/chicken substitute

$649,420,000

Chicken/chicken substitute

$620,520,000

Handled entrees

$587,000,000

Shrimp

$583,980,000

Vegetables

$491,230,000

Fish/seafood

$489,570,000

Meat (non-poultry)

$481,140,000

Multi-serve dinners/entrees

$420,190,000

Appetizers/snack rolls

$413,130,000

Plain potatoes/fries/hash browns

$360,940,000

Through modern techniques and technology, cold chain practices and supply chain have helped to create an immensely diverse grocery infrastructure.

Image Credit: Kokliang / Shutterstock.com

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