头图

SIAL|Hottest Frozen Food Trends Emerging for 2024

2024.04.10

Globally inspired flavors, evolving use of kitchen appliances, and a surge in breakfast foods are just some of the emerging trends SIAL found in the Future of Frozen Food 2024 report on the evolving $78 billion United States (U.S.) frozen food market in 2024.   

 

Future of Frozen Food 2024 leveraged Conagra Brands' demand science expertise, combined with robust sales data from NielsenIQ, in-home consumption behaviors from Circana's National Eating Trends®, and in-depth social media trend predictors from Black Swan Data to identify five trends in the U.S. frozen food department.  

 

"The frozen food industry, which began with our own Clarence Birdseye over a century ago, will continue to evolve with product innovation, flavor experimentation and changes to how and when people want to enjoy frozen food," said Bob Nolan, senior vice president of demand science at Conagra Brands. "Unlike conventional consumer surveys or online polls, we leveraged our Demand Science team to dive deep into data and other insights, unearthing tastes and experiences for the year ahead."

 

A collection of sales data and insights on food consumption and preparation helped identify five trends driving frozen food innovation and growth in 2024, including:

 

A Taste of Global Cuisine

 

Historically, more conventional 'meat-and-potatoes' and fewer bold flavors shaped frozen food aisles. Today, consumers are being exposed to a broader set of global flavors and cuisines. Asian-inspired foods, such as Indian and Korean BBQ, are rapidly influencing food preferences, as well as global cuisine related social media trends in 2024.

 

Frozen Foods Rising and Shining at Breakfast

 

The "most important meal of the day" is increasingly becoming a hot time of the day for frozen food consumption. Frozen croissant sandwiches, breakfast burritos and biscuit sandwiches are among the most popular items driving growth. Frozen breakfast sandwiches alone now account for $2.3 billion1 in sales. Time savings, variety, and both indulgent and healthy morning-time options are driving growth.

 

Big Appetites for Bites and Mini Portions

 

Small in size but big on flavor, this frozen space has surged thanks to growing options which mirror increased snacking culture. Food producers are promoting bites and minis for portion control, healthier options, and quick satisfaction. In the past year alone recipes for bites and minis were included in more than three million internet searches.

 

Fun and Convenient Kids Meals

 

Frozen foods that kids enjoy and are easy for parents to prepare have seen significant growth. Kid-friendly frozen food now generates more than $248 million in annual sales, up 122% over the past four years1. Beyond convenience, taste and growing variety, families leverage frozen foods to help control food budgets and reduce food waste.

 

The Air Fryer's Influence on Food Prep

 

The report notes air fryer ownership has jumped 27 points since 2020. As a result, the number of frozen foods with air-frying instructions has jumped 90% in the past four years. Air-fryer preparation often saves time, can be a healthier food prep option and emits less heat for year-round cooking.

 

"Americans increasingly want new, exciting and unique frozen food flavors," said Nolan, "These trends point to the vast possibilities for continued innovations."

 

The U.S. is by far the world's largest frozen food marketplace. Eight in 10 Americans choose frozen food at least once weekly, and most consume them about four times each week. More than half of Americans have frozen food on hand, especially vegetables, and nearly half now own at least one secondary freezer.

 

SIAL found that prepared foods (including meals, handhelds, and appetizers), desserts, and seafood are the three largest categories by dollar share. SIAL also examined some generational differences in frozen food preferences and habits, including those among Gen Z, Millennials, Boomers, Gen X, and "empty nesters" and senior couples.

Asia's Largest Food and Beverage Trade Fair

5,000+ Exhibitors From   70+ Countries & Regions
350,000 Exhibits   10 Forums   9 Events & Competitions

Onsite Tickets Will Be Priced At USD30