As consumers continue to gravitate towards the frozen section to stock up on shelf-stable foods during the pandemic, the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has developed a new strategic plan and website to better connect the frozen food supply chain.
AFFI is the only national trade association that represents frozen food and beverage makers, including manufacturers, suppliers and distributors.
“Frozen foods are essential in a dynamic marketplace,” said Alison Bodor, president and CEO of AFFI. “This is our north star, our strategic industry objective, that demonstrates the overarching role AFFI will play on behalf of its members and the frozen food industry of the future.”
Convening in monthly meetings, AFFI’s Board of Directors and staff utilized industry research to brainstorm strategic solutions, where AFFI could have a role, to address frozen food industry challenges. AFFI’s strategic plan is supported by three areas of focus:
- Advocate — Grounded in science, mitigate risks to the frozen food business.
- Elevate — Elevate frozen’s voice and build champions to promote the benefits of frozen foods.
- Innovate — Drive solutions for innovative category performance.
“AFFI’s new strategic plan builds on the momentum from our previous strategic plan and capitalizes on AFFI’s core areas of strength in science, advocacy and communications to deliver real results for our members so they can continue to ensure Americans have access to safe, nutritious and easy to prepare frozen foods,” noted Bodor.
Additionally, AFFI unveiled its new website. New features include:
- A members-only dashboard with access to curated resources and business insights.
- Revamped news section to communicate the business and benefits of frozen foods.
- Streamlined user experience to enhance the value of AFFI membership and AFFI’s Affinity Programs.
From the very start of the pandemic, frozen food sales have been strong, far outpacing other areas of the store. Whereas many departments are back in single-digit increases versus 2019 levels, frozen food in Dec. 2020 continued to be 16.5% above year ago levels, as reported by IRI and 210 Analytics. Virtually all areas within frozen — both meal ingredients such as meat and vegetables and meal solutions, like dinner or breakfast — are seeing continued strength. In 2020, the frozen food department increased dollar sales by 21%.
And consumer research indicates this momentum will continue even after the pandemic subsides.
“Strong sales data only tells part of the story,” said Bodor. “Frozen foods align with the times we’re living in, offering consumers nutrition, variety, ease of preparation and certainty at a moment we’re needing it more than ever in our kitchens and on our tables.”
Meanwhile, AFFI is getting ready for its online AFFI Frozen Food Convention, which will be held Feb. 17-26. The agenda includes enhanced education sessions to provide industry insights for frozen food companies.
Arlington, Virginia-based AFFI advocates before legislative and regulatory entities on the industry’s behalf, serves as the voice for the category and convenes business leaders to create an environment where frozen foods are essential in a dynamic marketplace.