Arlington, VA – The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) celebrates the commencement of Frozen Food Month in March 2023 by recognizing the ways frozen food helps build a healthier future for families and households across the country. The many positive attributes of frozen food allow for shoppers to enjoy delicious food and nutrition solutions, all while reducing their food waste at home.
“With the diverse options available in the frozen food aisle, the category offers a range of solutions to help families enjoy mealtime,” said AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor. “Frozen food can help shoppers better access the nutrition solutions that work with their needs and conveniently prepare meals despite a busy schedule.”
Frozen foods are an important part of the kitchen for Americans due in part to features such as a longer shelf life and easy-to-follow preparation instructions. Category sales have grown by more than $19 billion since 2018, reaching $72 billion in 2022, and virtually all households (98.6%) report purchasing frozen food at least once a year. As policymakers and thought leaders look to ways to further advance long-term public health and dietary goals, AFFI stresses some of the top ways frozen food can play a supporting role:
Frozen Food Helps Consumers Overcome Barriers to Healthy Eating
A 2012 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) identified barriers faced by participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that prevent them from having access to a nutritious diet. Identified barriers included a lack of cooking capabilities and lack of time to prepare foods. Frozen food helps households due to its cost efficiency, reduced preparation time, and minimal equipment needs. Frozen produce is peeled and chopped in advance, which provides additional convenience to consumers and removes one more barrier to healthy eating. At the same time, pre-packaged servings allow for portion control, an important factor in helping consumers meet caloric goals, and include a variety of options to meet varying cultural norms.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Make Produce Consumption Easier
Frozen food helps facilitate increased access to produce consumption. When consumers have various forms of fruits and vegetables available in their home, their produce intake increases. Plus, research shows that the nutritional value of frozen fruits and vegetables is equal to, and in some cases better than, fresh produce,. Freezing is simply nature’s pause button and a natural way to lock in the freshness and nutrition of fruits and vegetables.
Frozen Food Helps Consumers Reduce Food Waste
Consumers throw out up to $2,275 worth of food each year, which translates to both an environmental and financial cost. With an extended shelf life and pre-portioned servings, households are able to only prepare what they need. This means reduced greenhouse gas emissions from landfill usage and cost savings for shoppers.
A complete suite of informational resources detailing the benefits of frozen food can be found online at www.frozenadvantage.org.
 Produce for Better Health, www.fruitsandveggies.org
 Bouzari, A., D. Holstege and D.M. Barrett. 2015. Vitamin Retention in Eight Fruits and Vegetables: A Comparison of Refrigerated and Frozen Storage. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(3):957–962
 Li, L. et al., 2017. Selected analyses of fresh, fresh-stored, and frozen fruits and vegetables. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 59:8-17