HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Desserts topped the list of best-selling frozen items and Des Moines, Iowa, led all U.S. markets in frozen food sales gains during National Frozen Food Month in March.
Nationwide, frozen food sales inched up during the promotion, organized by the National Frozen Food Association here.
For the four weeks ended March 26, total frozen-food dollar sales were $1.6 billion, a 1% rise from March 1994, according to Information Resources Inc., Chicago. However, unit sales dipped 2.5% to 893.7 million, IRI reported.
Nielsen North America, Schaumburg, Ill., also detected a slight increase in frozen-food performance, with dollar sales up 0.2% and pound sales up 0.4% for the four weeks ended March 18.
"Anytime we're on the plus side, we feel real good about that," said Skip Shaw, NFFA executive vice president. "Last year, we had a pretty good increase, and it's tough from year to year to build substantial increases. So as long as we're on the plus side, we're very pleased with the outcome."
By product category, frozen desserts showed the greatest rise in pound sales volume, with a 14% increase. Rounding out the top five were frozen novelties (2.2%), mixed vegetables (1.9%), frozen poultry (1.6%) and one-food Italian entrees (1.5%). Of the 50 markets tracked by Nielsen, Des Moines was No. 1 in frozen-department pound sales gains, with a 38.5% increase. The rest of the top five this year were Detroit (19.1%); Phoenix (7.3%); Charlotte, N.C. (6.7%), and Atlanta (6.4%).