Frozen food prices up 17% vs. 2021, but consumers still believe it provides good value, says Acosta

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The average price per unit in the frozen food department increased 17% to $4.91 in September 2022 vs. September 2021, and up 31.6% vs. 2019, according to IRI sales data.

The increase tracks ahead of total store level inflation, which was +14.3% in September 2022 vs. one year ago.

Frozen categories with the largest year-over-year per unit price increase  (September 2022 vs. September 2021) included fruits and vegetables (+19.2%), snacks (+19%) meals (+18.8%), and meat/poultry/seafood (+17.9%).

Only one area, frozen beverages, averaged a single-digit (+7.1%) year-over-year price increase.

Total food & beverage sales (measured channels, retail, IRI) were up +9.5% YoY in September 2022, with units down -4.1%, while frozen sales were up +9.7% with units down -6.2%.

Big CPG and frozen food

Large players such as Conagra Brands (Bird’s Eye, Marie Callender’s, Banquet, Healthy Choice) and General Mills (Häagen-Dazs, Totino’s) have reported strong sales in its frozen foods portfolios and investment into its frozen food offerings.

“Frozen generated a significant acceleration of quarterly sales growth on a one and three year basis of 8% and 27% respectively. Clearly, our focus on catering to consumer preferences for convenience, quality and great taste continue to resonate,”​ said Conagra president and CEO Sean Connolly on the company’s Q1 2023 earnings call.

In August 2022, General Mills announced a $100m investment at one of its manufacturing plants making Totino’s frozen pizza products.  

Earlier this year, Nestlé USA-owned Sweet Earth Foods expanded its frozen foods​ line to meet demand for convenience and plant-based nutrition.

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