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Frozen food group goes on offense as sales lag

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm •  Published: May 12, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Frozen food makers plan to launch their first national TV ad in defense of their products on Tuesday as the category fights to boost slipping sales.

The ad will include the tag line "Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh" and is intended to address negative misconceptions people have about frozen foods.

It's part of a marketing campaign being funded by the American Frozen Food Institute, an industry group that represents companies including Nestle, which makes Hot Pockets and Lean Cuisine, and ConAgra, which makes Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's.

The push comes as frozen food sales have been hurt by a move toward food people feel are fresh or natural. Although frozen vegetables are often touted as being just as wholesome as their fresh counterparts, frozen meals and snacks are widely seen as being full of sodium and preservatives, or lacking in the taste department.

Between 2009 and last year, U.S. sales of frozen meals are down 3 percent at $8.92 billion, according to Euromonitor International. And this year, the market researcher is forecasting a decline of an additional 2 percent.

The Associated Press reported on the American Frozen Food Institute's plans for the campaign last month.

In a phone interview on Monday, Kraig Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute, disclosed that the group plans to invest as much as $90 million in the campaign over three years.

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