- Nestlé USA is investing $ 100 million to expand its frozen food factory in Gaffney, South Carolina, according to a press release.
- The structure prepares frozen foods for foods of brands like Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine. The expansion will increase its manufacturing capabilities for these brands.
- Sales of frozen foods flew during the pandemic, gaining 17.4% between November 2019 and November 2020, according to data from IRI and International Bakery Deli Dairy Association. Many consumers chose prepared frozen foods as a convenient way to store food or take a break from cooking three meals a day.
The expansion of the Nestlé USA plant could benefit from the continued increase in frozen food sales. Some of the most popular frozen food items during the pandemic included pizza (37%), vegetables (37%), entry (27%) and poultry (26%), according to research by the Freedonia Group, which are all major offers for Nestlé Frozen Foods Portfolio.
The move also plays into some of Nestlé’s broader growth strategies, steadily casting lower performance brands to free up resources to focus on segments that show greater potential.
With the pandemic decline in the United States, comfort will continue to be an attractive aspect of frozen foods as consumers adjust to working outside the home and other daily demands. Over a third of consumers, and 49% of millennials in particular, said they are likely to bring a frozen meal to work for lunch in a study that Nestlé recently commissioned.
The pandemic also helped buyers of frozen foods discover new opportunities. At the start of the pandemic, roughly three-quarters of them experienced an out-of-stock label for their favorite frozen food products, leading two-thirds to choose different items and 72% to try alternative brands, according to a survey in April 2020 by the American Institute of Frozen Foods. A year later, sales of frozen foods continue to climb. A recent AFFI report called frozen foods a “pandemic power plant,” reaching $ 65.1 billion in U.S. retail last year.
Improving its production capabilities will help Nestlé USA keep pace with its main competitors as the frozen food route becomes increasingly crowded. For many years, frozen meals suffered from problems of public perception with many buyers viewing them as of poor quality and unsatisfactory.
As frozen food manufacturers have perfected what consumers demand from a frozen meal, perception has changed. One of the major changes that brands like Nestlé, B&G Foods, Conagra and General Mills have made is the focus on healthy offerings and clean label ingredients. Many customers became focused on health and wellness during the pandemic and shifted their food purchases to reflect better opportunities for you.
Nestlé has taken other steps to increase its frozen food offerings. During the pandemic, she launched a frozen line is called the Kitchen of Life that fills the diet with few carbohydrates, high protein, no meat and no gluten. He also debuted for a refresh for more than half of her Lean Kitchen portfolio, with health-conscious recipes under 400 calories and 10 grams of fat or less. Of the 18 new Lean cooking bowls, 13 featured updated best-selling recipes with 20% ounces more food, as well as five new recipes.
Some of her creative endeavors to lure consumers into the frozen food line include cozy food dishes like LasagnaMac, which combines its two classic offerings into one dish. The promotional item is only available this summer.