B2B | Shopper Connection | June 2010
What's for dinner? More say 'frozen'
The usual American dinnertime is unlike anything Norman Rockwell depicted. People often fit the meal in between tasks and activities and are usually in no mood for lengthy meal prep. "We rarely cook from scratch anymore. We're on the move. Double-income families are more prevalent, and people want convenient alternatives that help them produce a family meal," notes John Plaso, vice president-business development, ConAgra Foods.
That explains the momentum behind frozen foods' dinnertime rise. Frozen items appeared on the dinner table 17% of the time in 2009 vs. 13% in 19941.
With continued improvements in meal formulations, packaging technology, consumer insights and messaging, ConAgra Foods anticipates more of a dinnertime rise and new retail growth opportunities. For example, the Healthy Choice lines deliver fresh tasting, nutritious foods sought by health and wellness consumers; the Marie Callender's brand delivers restaurant-fresh taste many others want; Banquet leads the value segment; and Kid Cuisine brings nutrition and fun for children.
To capitalize on the consumer trend away from restaurants, the Marie Callender's brand steps up with quality multi-serve meals that cook faster and more evenly, thanks to specially designed paperboard trays with a unique metallized pattern. Adult flavors with a twist, such as Creamy Chicken Alfredo with Sun Dried Tomatoes, satisfy the desire for premium meals. Contemporary reinterpretations of familiar comfort foods, such as White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, add family appeal.
The ConAgra Foods frozen portfolio continues to transform the aisle, as its brands penetrate 69% of American households. For example: The Healthy Choice Café Steamers line alone produced $24.9 million incremental sales in its second year on the market due to innovation. The Banquet brand sells 2 million units a day.
ConAgra Foods has segmented its frozen brands to maximally differentiate categories for retailers. The company also has the unparalleled household reach and consumer perspective to create retailer-specific platforms that can help ring dinner bells across the nation.
1 NPD NET In-Home Database
Fresh lunch: the next big idea for frozen
Consumer demand has shifted away from frozen paninis and conventional entrees for lunch. People today prefer to heat and eat frozen dishes that have fresher tasting, less-processed ingredients they can easily recognize when looking at the product package.
Healthy Choice Lunch Steamers to restart single-serve meals
The recession took the steam out of single-serve frozen sales: 5.5 million more unemployed than a year ago gave office microwaves a rest; people at home ate leftovers instead.
Banquet Fruit Pies: sweet incremental sales
Banquet turns pie, a classic American comfort food, into a frozen-aisle opportunity for today. The single-serve line of Banquet Fruit Pies suits small households, and delivers portion control and value
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Healthy Choice Redefines Healthy Lunch
Healthy Choice Lunch Steamers offer steam-cooked freshness and simplicity with fewer and better ingredients—prepared in one easy step—with no poking or stirring. When Healthy Choice Lunch Steamers breakthrough on shelves, lunch will never be the same.
Total Frozen Meals
Frozen Single Serve Meals is 67% of Total Frozen Meals1.
• Growing Frozen Single Serve Meals is key to driving Total Frozen Meals
• Increasing household penetration and buy rates for the lunch occasion will drive Single Serve Meals growth.
Many shoppers still lack basic cooking skills and struggle to come up with new ideas for preparing meals at home, according to a recent protein labeling study sponsored by the National Pork Board, The Beef Checkoff program and Yerecic Label.
After falling to their lowest volume point in more than 10 years in 2008, carbonated beverages bubbled back to the top dollar spot of all supermarket categories during the 52 weeks ending June 14. Working in these drinks' favor was their low cost relative to other beverages.
Retailers are playing a profitable game of catch and release as they position frozen seafood closer to fresh foods and other high-traffic locations.
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