GHQ CENTER STORE
A FROSTY RECEPTION
Innovative new products and merchandising opportunities are poised to make March’s
National Frozen Food Month as unforgettable as a favorite song. BY RICHARD TURCSIK
NATIONAL FROZEN FOOD MONTH is blowing in with a blizzard of merchandising opportunities this March, as manufacturers
introduce scores of innovative products and
put some marketing muscle behind existing
The theme of this year’s promotion is
“It’s Real Food… Just Frozen!” says Julie
Henderson, vice president of communications at the National Frozen & Refrigerated
Foods Association (NFRA), the Harrisburg,
Pa.-based trade association that coordinates
“Sponsoring brands will run digital coupons
on coupons.com,” Henderson says. “An integrated media partnership with Westwood One
will deliver the frozen food message across
radio, email, online and through social media.
NFRA’s panel of food bloggers will engage their
audiences with creative messaging. Frozen
Food Month and sponsoring brands will be
promoted throughout NFRA’s consumer-fac-ing Easy Home Meals social media platforms,
and a $10,000 Sweepstakes and four-week
freezer giveaway, courtesy of Hussmann, will
engage consumers online,” she says.
The Schwan Food Co., based in Bloomington,
Minn., has conducted research to uncover
new insights into the current state of the fro-zen-foods aisle and to understand consumers’
attitude and behavior regarding frozen foods.
“Our research revealed that consumers have a
complicated relationship with frozen foods,”
says Diane Harper, vice president, consumer
insights and analytics at Schwan’s Shared
Services, a division of The Schwan Food Co.
“It provides shortcuts when consumers are
busy living their lives, but while they appre-
ciate the convenience of frozen foods,
some view it as a compromise to health-
ier alternatives. They perceive fresh as
A broader selection can help shatter
that misconception, manufacturers say.
“It’s critical that retailers have category assortments that more completely meets the different and relevant
health needs of shoppers, including
natural, gluten-free and organic, but
also other brands that bring ‘homemade’
qualities and ingredients to the frozen dinner at both the premium and value end,” says
Nicolas Martinez, director, shopper insights at
Conagra Brands, based in Chicago.
Conagra is also working to help retailers
maximize their frozen aisles.
“Our work, which leverages a robust port-
folio of analytics—including proprietary
shopper data and extensive store audits—will
help retailers understand their dollar oppor-
tunity, as well as show what they need to do,
which categories to expand or reduce and what
the best category flow and category
adjacencies should be,” says Jeff
Mayrose, senior director category
leadership at Conagra.
Harper suggests manufacturers
and retailers work together to tout
that frozen foods are healthy.
“Manufacturers can call atten-
tion to health, taste and quality
benefits of frozen products, while
retailers can make the frozen food
aisle shopping experience more exciting and
relevant,” she says.
That is exactly what officials at Revolution
Foods are doing with their new Breakfast Hero
line of frozen pancake batter made with all-natural ingredients, including real milk and
eggs. Best known as a supplier of nutritious
school meals, Breakfast Hero marks the company’s first foray into the frozen food aisle.