Top 150 Frozen Food Processors Report 2022

Frozen food vegetarian dumpling

Frozen Food In COVID-19

While frozen food sales didn’t post the double-digit gains seen during 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing consumer tastes and perceptions look to shape the industry in 2022.

Frozen foods sales came in at $69 billion in 2021, moving over 17 billion units, according to the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). That marked a 1.4% increase YOY.

In contrast, the YOY growth for frozen foods from 2018 to 2019 was just 2%. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, sales are about 21% higher, according to AFFI.

With older millennials making up about 48% of frozen food buyers – the largest segment of customers, according to the AFFI Power of Frozen in Retail 2021 report – stigma around frozen food is thawing. Frozen food brands continue to introduce better-for-you options with an increase in organic, gluten-free and ethnically-authentic flavor trends like Indian, Asian and Mediterranean.

In a survey of 2,000 respondents published in September, market research firm Deloitte found that frozen growth outpaced fresh food last year due to three factors: price, perishability and preference. Consumers are not as tolerant of perishability now as they were before the pandemic and frozen has become a priority in American households, with 30% of shoppers increasing their freezer capacity since the onset of the pandemic according to research by AFFI.

Deloitte’s research found that while frozen food spoilage can happen, it “doesn’t occupy the consumer’s imagination like fresh’s overripe avocados or funky fish. In fact, consumers’ ability to stock up on frozen between less frequent shopping trips—without creating spoilage and waste—is a major feature.”

Price is still king and reflected in consumer perception—62% of Deloitte’s respondents said fresh food costs more than frozen alternatives and in head-to-head comparisons, 40-50% of consumers say frozen is just as good, or better than, fresh.

Our Ranking

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ annual Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors Report is a snapshot of the top 25 frozen foods processors in six categories: Meals & Entrees; Snacks, Appetizers & Sides; Meat, Poultry & Seafood; Dairy; Fruits & Vegetables; and Bakery.

This report represents Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ best efforts to reflect recent sales data based on annual reports, news releases, and statistics from our sister publications Dairy Foods and National Provisioner, and other business media sources. Many of the numbers come from AFFI’s Power of Frozen report, and from the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), who compiled retail frozen food sales in 2021 with market research firm Nielsen.

Because most companies do not separate frozen sales from their total sales, the figures are either company-wide or segmented by region (North American sales, for example). If you work for a company on this list and know the approximate sales data of the frozen products your business produces, please contact me and I will update this page.


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