Foodservice Operators Rely Heavily on Frozen Food Category, Study Finds

New research by Datassential shows that while frozen foods are an essential ingredient for the nation’s foodservice operators, they appear to be hungry for innovation.

The study, conducted on behalf of the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and based on a survey of 426 commercial and non-commercial operators, reveals operator attitudes and perceptions regarding frozen foods, at the same time identifying the way manufacturers and distributors can effectively meet operator needs and strengthen the demand for frozen food in foodservice.

“This research reinforces that frozen foods play a vital role in foodservice,” said American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) President and CEO Alison Bodor. “Category innovation will encourage operators to leverage frozen to meet the consumer demand for convenient, high-quality meals that cover every meal occasion.”

The category not only delivers on operators’ need for quality, taste, and consistency, but has other benefits like long shelf life, year-round availability, convenience, ease of preparation, product consistency, reduced preparation time, and affordability/value, as cited by those surveyed.

Among the key findings of the study was the fact the 89% of operators purchase frozen foods and beverages. More so, roughly half (47%) of their yearly purchases are frozen products. As far as innovation, operators expressed interest in topics such as greater flavor variety with enhanced quality and textures, frozen products that provide labor savings and packaging that addresses storage limitations, e.g. resealable, bulk bags.

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