As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, frozen food saw dramatic growth during 2020 across all categories that shows no signs of subsiding. AFFI has tracked the growth through monthly retail insight reports and has partnered with IRI to provide our members deeper insights into current trends.

Strategies for a New Consumer Environment

In our latest business insights webinar, IRI experts joined AFFI President & CEO Alison Bodor for an examination of the frozen department trends that emerged during the past 18 months. The discussion centered on which ones will stick around and what the short-term opportunities are for both manufacturers and retailers in this new consumer environment.

2021 Power of Frozen

Our second annual report combines the results of more than 1,500 consumer surveys with retail measurement and consumption data from IRI. Done in partnership with FMI - the Food Industry Association this report aims to bring an understanding of consumers perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors regarding frozen food to help the industry optimize production, marketing, merchandising and branding decisions. 

Frozen Foods are a Pandemic Powerhouse

In 2020, the category rang in $65.1 billion dollars in retail sales. This is a 21% increase in dollars and a 13.3% increase in units over the previous year.

Nearly All Types of Frozen Foods Saw Double-Digit Gains

The top-three frozen food categories with the largest percentage of dollar growth in 2020 include: 
– Seafood (+35.3%)
– Poultry (+34.7%)
– Appetizers (+28.9%)

Frozen Food is Popular in Digital Carts

Consumers shopped online at a record rate in 2020 and they put a lot of frozen foods in their cart. Online frozen food sales saw a 75% increase with frozen dinners/entrees, meat, poultry and seafood leading the way.

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Retail Market Snapshots

Reports are Free to Members

Frozen Retail Demand Strengthens in April 2022

April 2022

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Two Years Later: Comparison to the Massive Spikes of March 2020

March 2022

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Inflation Remained the Big Headline for Frozen Foods in February 2022

February 2022

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At-Home Share of Meals Rises Along With Inflation in January 2022

January 2022

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2021 Frozen Food Sales Remain 23% Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

December 2021

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Meals, Meat and Seafood Drive Big November Sales for Frozen

November 2021

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Frozen Meals and Meat Drive Big Gains for Frozen Food Aisle

October 2021

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Fall Kicks Off with High Demand for Frozen Food

September 2021

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Frozen Food Sales Have Caught Up With 2020 Levels

July 2021

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Sales During the First Half of 2021 Come Close to 2020; Far Ahead of 2019

June 2021

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High Demand for Frozen Foods Continues

May 2021

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Frozen Food Demand Remains Strong

April 2021

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Frozen Foods See Year-Over-Year Losses, But Demand Remains Robust

March 2021

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Frozen Food Aisle Trips Are Part of Shoppers’ New Routine

February 2021

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Frozen Foods Power Their Way Into The New Year

January 2021

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November and December 2020 Frozen Food Sales

December 2020

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Strong November for Frozen Foods, Far Ahead of Other Departments

November 2020

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Holiday Week Sparks Another 20% Growth Week for Frozen

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Frozen Foods Generate Double-Digit Gains for 22nd Week

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Protein Leads Gains in Double-Digit Week for Frozen Food


Frozen Food Sales Remained Highly Elevated Throughout October

October 2020

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Frozen Foods Continue to Win With More Trips & Bigger Baskets

August 2020

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Frozen Foods Sales More than Double Total Store

August 2020

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Frozen Foods Continue to Trend Well Above 2019 Baseline

July 2020

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Gains Remain Above the 20% Mark in Non-Holiday Week

July 2020

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Father’s Day Drove a 26% Gain for Frozen Foods

June 2020

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Protein Leads Gains in Another Double-Digit Week for Frozen Food

August 31, 2020 Update

Consumer Changes From COVID-19

Our April 2020 report offers a detailed look at frozen food sales early in the outbreak of COVID-19. We hosted a webinar where report author Ann-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics took a deeper dive into the results.

The Power of Frozen in Retail Research

The Power of Frozen in Retail, done in partnership with the Food Marketing Institute, examines the consumption, purchase drivers and use of frozen foods. These research findings, along with actual sales and consumption data, provide a comprehensive 360-degree view of frozen food to equip frozen food manufacturers and their retail partners with opportunities for continued growth.

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