Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO —
As we’ve discussed in prior posts, the demand for farm-to-table goodness doesn’t preclude frozen foods. In the food supply chain, frozen food manufacturers are gaining market share with best practices in nutrition and sustainability. Consider these four important points:
- Focus on Real Food
As highlighted in AFFI’s annual frozen consumer trends survey, 48% of shoppers look for ‘real ingredients’. By shying away from artificial ingredients in processing and highlighting a ‘real’ commitment on the label, manufacturers are offering healthier products in the freezer case. Real cheese, chocolate, and butter, for example, are sought out and purchased. It’s worth noting that this positive, ‘real’ production trait scored 11% higher than the mirror phrase ‘no artificial ingredients.’
- Greener Packaging
While packaging is an inherent challenge for the frozen food industry, 77% of consumers say that eco-friendly frozen food packaging is somewhat or very important to them. AFFI also found that 40% of core consumers rated sustainable packaging as very important. Manufacturers are leveraging this interest with recyclable, biodegradable, plastic-free, or post-consumer recycled packaging materials.
- Reducing Waste
In addition to providing convenience, frozen food reduces waste. By purchasing frozen meals and ingredients, shoppers are able to plan with better portion control. Frozen produce, meat and prepared foods don’t spoil and the longer shelf-life value appeals to consumers as a tool for conscious consumption.
Interest in organic and non-GMO has stalled somewhat, according to AFFI. Consumers show more widespread value in ‘all-natural’ production and branding, which has more general appeal. 38% of frozen shoppers look for ‘all natural’ descriptors on the label and 39% are interested in fresh frozen foods, which primarily applies to frozen vegetables. Natural ingredients are a cross-sectional value with benefits for both health and sustainability.
Along with eco-friendly packaging, real food ingredients, and natural branding, it’s important to find a frozen food logistics partner who shares your commitment to sustainability. At Hanson Logistics, we are on a mission to innovate the temperature-controlled supply chain with increased efficiency. Explore service options for centralized management to reduce waste and limit overproduction. Plus, with our Velocities program, brands can reduce their carbon footprint (and costs!) with combined truckloads.