Fresh to Frozen: Hot Trends Defrosting Frozen Food Aisles

Here is the first article in our Food Trends for 2019 series. In this series, we will discuss what we think of the hottest food trends from a Registered Dietitian’s perspective. Are these food trends here to stay or will they be gone next year like may one hit wonders? Up first is the frozen food trend. 

The intense demands of work and school have only increased for Americans over the past few decades. Paired with a fairly recent increase in awareness between the connection of food and health, consumers are starting to demand fresh, convenient food items that put dinner on the table fast.

Frozen Foods are HOT

According to The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), frozen food dollar sales increased 1.4% in the past year. Frozen meals, appetizers and vegetables account for the majority of this increase. The frozen food industry is projected to top 90.8 billion dollars by the year 2022 in research conveyed by the NFRA. Food manufacturers are in part to thank for this frozen food trend as technology has improved the ability to flash freeze fresh foods in order to naturally preserve nutrients.

Popular Frozen Food Brands

There is no denying the climate change happening in the frozen food aisles. Brands like Luvo and Trader Joe’s are heating up the frozen aisles with products like Thai-Style Green Curry Chicken and Wild-Caught Salmon with Orzo. These frozen options contain minimal amounts of sodium and other preservatives. Brands like Caulipower are making trendy foods, like cauliflower crust pizza, accessible and easy for the busy, health-conscious consumer. Even those who are looking for vegan, vegetarian, nut-free or gluten-free options can find refuge in the frozen food aisles. Many brands are dedicating their manufacturing to the “-free” demands of consumers.

What do we think about frozen foods?

As a Registered Dietitian, frozen foods have always been a recommendation of mine for their nutritional benefits and increased accessibility in a busy lifestyle. It is unrealistic to expect busy families to spend unavailable time in the kitchen. Taking small steps in the right direction to by providing their families with a nutritious meal is most important, rather than spending time expecting to create “perfect” meals.

Another benefit of frozen foods is the reduction of waste. With our busy lives, fresh produce may go bad before it is eaten. Frozen foods are also less expensive than going out to eat, ultimately saving money for busy families. The surge of healthier options in the frozen food section of grocery stores is enabling many Americans to eat healthfully AND conveniently, a historically unattached combination.

Melissa Bloom, MS, RD a specialist in mindful eating and healthy weight management at A New Beginning and The Healthy Weigh Out.

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