Frozen Department Sales Soar

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Frozen Department Sales Soar

By Abby Kleckler - 02/21/2020
Frozen Departments See Back-to-Back Years of Sales Growth

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association's (NFRA) State of the Industry Report analyzed how the frozen and refrigerated foods categories attract shoppers, drive shopping trips, build shopping basket dollars and deliver sales.

The two departments had a combined sales of $125 billion in the 52 weeks ending June 29, 2019. The frozen department showed two years of back-to-back growth with sales of $54.6 billion, up $918 million. The dairy department had sales of $71 billion, delivering $550 million in year-over-year growth.

“Both the frozen and dairy departments have strong, broad appeal among consumers with the potential to drive short- and long-term growth for retailers. In 2019, dollar and unit sales increased in both departments attesting to consumers’ renewed excitement about the innovative products they can find there,” says NFRA President and CEO Skip Shaw.

With an average buying frequency of 70 trips per year, shoppers are coming to the store more than once a week to make a purchase from the frozen and dairy aisles.

The top-five selling frozen department categories were ice cream ($6.7B), pizza ($4.8B), seafood ($4.8B), novelties ($4.6B) and complete meals ($4.5B).

“Frozen foods have seen strong growth over the last few years as innovative products now align with consumers’ demands for organic, plant-based, gluten-free and so much more,” says Shaw. “NFRA’s consumer PR efforts have been successfully working to tell this positive story about today’s frozen foods. It’s real food, just frozen.”

Sixty-eight percent of all dairy department sales are concentrated in the top-five selling categories: cheese ($16.3B), milk products ($13.3B), beverages ($8.6B), yogurt ($7.2B) and eggs ($5.8B). 

“Today’s modern dairy aisle has evolved to meet consumers’ changing needs,” says Shaw. “It’s a destination for products that fit every lifestyle including dairy staples, plant-based alternatives and new innovative foods and beverages to satisfy every taste and dietary need. It’s dairy and so much more.”

The 400-plus page NFRA 2019 State of the Industry Report was conducted by Nielsen and compiled by Todd Hale, LLC.