HARRISBURG, Pa. -- "Proud to Be the Best" was the slogan for March's annual National Frozen Food Month. It was just that -- the best year yet for the promotion.
According to A.C. Nielsen, Northbrook, Ill., retailers rung up over $1.6 billion in frozen food sales for the month, a 3% increase over 1993 and a 7% increase over 1991. The results were presented May 2 in Chicago at a regional retail coordinators meeting for the National Frozen Food Association, sponsor of the month-long event.
H.V. "Skip" Shaw, executive vice president of NFFA here, said the group is pleased with the results. "We had a great deal of participation throughout the country," Shaw said. "Some of the local associations had some great programs. In North Carolina, where they're always strong, they built a home for Habitat for Humanity, as they've done before.
"The association in northern Florida had a strong program, as shown by the 20% increase in pound sales over last year," he added. "I talked to Jim Childers [vice president and director of grocery merchandising] of Winn-Dixie in Jacksonville, Fla., and he said his area had lots of participation."
Other areas recording large increases were Memphis, Tenn., 13.9%; Miami, 12.8%; Orlando, Fla., 12.1% and Richmond-Norfolk, Va., 11.8%.
If nothing else, National Frozen Food Month satisfied the nation's sweet tooth. The bulk ice cream category garnered the most sales throughout the month, 259 million pounds, a 2.4% increase over 1993. Frozen desserts were also a big winner, up 18.1% over last year. Rounding out the sweets area, frozen yogurt recorded the biggest increase, 19.1%, to 47.9 million pounds.
Shaw said NFFA's sights are already set on next March. "Serving Up Perfection" will be the theme. Bonnie Blair, winner of five Olympic gold medals in speed skating, will again be featured in all advertising and point-of-sale materials created by NFFA.
In addition to many contests and programs throughout the month on the local level by state associations, NFFA conducts a nationwide sweepstakes throughout the month.
The grand prize in next year's Serving Up Perfection sweepstakes will be a family reunion that brings up to 12 people to the reunion site of their choice, anywhere in the continental United States.