By John Saulnier, FFB Editorial Director

Frozen food is cool again, particularly among the 22 to 37-year-old millennial generation in the United States and Canada, according to Kellogg Co. CEO Steven A. Cahillane. His Battle Creek, Michigan-headquartered company, best known for shelf stable breakfast cereals, is pumped that sales of Eggo brand frozen waffles and MorningStar Farms veggie burgers have been, as Frosted Flakes cartoon character Tony the Tiger would say: “GREAT!” Indeed, volume was up 10% during the first quarter.

eggo homestylewaffles“Frozen foods categories are outpacing grocery overall, especially with millennials, who consider frozen closest to fresh, and who prize its convenience and value. We expect frozen food to continue to grow, even as its begins to lap its year-ago acceleration, in coming quarters,” Cahillane commented during a recent earnings conference call.

The company, which sells Pringles potato chips, Pop-Tarts, Keebler cookies, Town House crackers and a raft of other snack foods in addition cereals and frozen products, saw revenue rise almost 5% to $3.4 billion during Q1. Net income amounted to $444 million, up considerably from $266 million generated during the first quarter of 2017.

“I am bullish on our frozen business,” Cahillane told Kenneth Goldman of JPMorgan Securities during the earnings call, when asked if the company has plans to scale up its presence in the frozen sector with acquisitions. “I don't think we're disadvantaged in scale in any way, because both brands are growing at double digits. So we like the scale.”

The chief executive officer continued: “It's not to say that we wouldn't think about opportunities to scale up, but right now, we've got plans in place to really grow these businesses in meaningful ways that contribute to the top line and bottom line of the company.”

Rising Tides Near and Far

Meanwhile, a flurry of other positive reports on both sides of the Atlantic bode overall well for the retail frozen food business in North America and Europe.

The growing appetite for Conagra Brands’ frozen ready meals and entrees in the USA translated to a 21% increase in sales over the 12-week period through March 10, according to an advisory from the RBC Capital Markets global investment bank. Revenues for Chicago, Illinois-headquartered Conagra’s popular Banquet and Marie Callender’s lines advanced 13% and 12%, respectively.

In Europe, where the savory frozen food retail market worth approximately €25 billion in 2017, sales during the current year ending in February of 2018 rose in five of six major markets: Germany (valued overall at €10.1 billion), the United Kingdom (€5.5 billion), Spain, the Netherlands and Italy.

Premiumization, innovation, value and convenience are driving sales, according to Olly Abotorabi, senior insights manager at IRI International. What’s more, consumers are increasingly aware that frozen fare is often fresher than fresh.

“Consumer perceptions are changing as studies show although fresh food is best at harvest, that freshness quickly depletes. Food quickly frozen after harvest is able to retain a lot of nutrients,” said Abotorabi. “Italy is one market where consumers are intent on ensuring freshness of produce but they are becoming more open to frozen. Fish, for example, is growing in volume at 4.3% – well ahead of the sector as a whole at 1.2%.”

veggie burgerAs FrozenFoodsBiz.com has emphasized time and again, consumers are bigger fans of frozen foods than they realize or admit. Just look at the smiles on faces of children of all ages eating ice cream, and see the satisfaction of folks enjoying previously frozen shrimp, pizza or steak and french fries. Always remember, dear reader that the opposite of fresh is not frozen. The opposite of both fresh and frozen is rotten.

Korean Conglomerate CJ CheilJedang to Acquire Schwan’s Korean Conglomerate CJ CheilJedang to Acquire Schwan’s
Seoul, Korea-headquartered CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Schwan’s, a Marshall, Minnesota, USA-headquartered frozen food company, for $1.84 billion. The

Lineage Logistics Buys Yearsley Group in United Kingdom Lineage Logistics Buys Yearsley Group in United Kingdom
Novi, Michigan, USA-based Lineage Logistics Holdings has acquired Yearsley Group Limited, a leading temperature-controlled logistics service provider and frozen food distributor in the United

NFRA Convention in San Diego Breaks Participation Record NFRA Convention in San Diego Breaks Participation Record
Impressive figures for the 2018 National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention were released on November 14. Participation was record-breaking, as over 1,260 total delegates attended the

Bindi Dessert USA Expands into the Breakfast Category Bindi Dessert USA Expands into the Breakfast Category
Belleville, New Jersey-based Bindi Dessert USA has launched a breakfast line of Italian-style pastries featuring traditional favorites such as Cornetti , Bomboloni and other options – all of which

Lakeside Feeds PLMA Visitors Veggie-centric Street Food Lakeside Feeds PLMA Visitors Veggie-centric Street Food
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA-headquartered Lakeside Foods served up plenty of samples of its latest value-added vegetable dishes at the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) trade show which

EVOL Launch May Help Conagra Stock Price Evolve Upwards EVOL Launch May Help Conagra Stock Price Evolve Upwards
Shares of Conagra Brands (CAG), a major producer and marketer of retail food products, including many leading frozen brands, fell by approximately 2% in pre-market trading on November 14, following

Nomad Foods Weathers Hot Summer Drought to Post Q3 Gains Nomad Foods Weathers Hot Summer Drought to Post Q3 Gains
Feltham, England-headquartered Nomad Foods, which produces and markets Birds Eye, Iglo and Findus brand frozen vegetables as well as value-added fish and poultry dishes, beef burgers, ready meals and

Brioche Pasquier Goes Nuts with Le Praliné Entremets Brioche Pasquier Goes Nuts with Le Praliné Entremets
Le Praliné Entremets is a new defrost-and-slice layered dessert from Brioche Pasquier that serves up silky, crispy, smooth, crunchy and airy all at once. The sweet treat is presented as a provocative

Gardein Debuts Single Serve Bowls and Breakfast Patties Gardein Debuts Single Serve Bowls and Breakfast Patties
Gardein, a plant-based frozen food brand distributed through retail stores, restaurants and school cafeterias throughout the USA and Canada, has launched a line of single serve bowls made for quick

High Liner Sales Sink, Jobs Shrink in 14% Workforce Cut High Liner Sales Sink, Jobs Shrink in 14% Workforce Cut
In reporting a third quarter sales slide of $41.5 million to $241.2 million and a gross profit reduction of $4.3 million to $44.0 million, High Liner Foods also announced that 14% of its workforce

European Spud Harvest Likely Down 20% or More, Says NEPG European Spud Harvest Likely Down 20% or More, Says NEPG
The North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimates that this year’s total harvest of consumption potatoes in four of the five top spud producing countries in the European Union will amount to

On-Cor Unveils Chicken Entrées with No Added Antibiotics On-Cor Unveils Chicken Entrées with No Added Antibiotics
On-Cor Frozen Foods is introducing two new entrées in its Selects line: Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake and Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bake – both featuring all white meat with no added

Chicken McMuffin, McAloo Tikki and More on Chicago McMenu Chicken McMuffin, McAloo Tikki and More on Chicago McMenu
Time was when McDonald’s was, among other things, the paramount exporter of American fast food concepts to the world. Today, with the Golden Arches in place at more than 37,000 restaurants in 120

Aviko to Shut Down Potato Specialties Factory in Bavaria Aviko to Shut Down Potato Specialties Factory in Bavaria
Aviko BV, a Royal Cosun-owned potato processing company headquartered in the Netherlands, has announced that it will terminate operations at its Amberger plant in southern Germany. The Oberdolling

Frozens Among Hot Stuff at 30th Edition of Kosherfest Frozens Among Hot Stuff at 30th Edition of Kosherfest
Kosherfest, the world’s largest international kosher food B2B gathering, will celebrate its 30th anniversary November 13-14 at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, USA. More

Central Foods Rolls Out Vegan American Pancakes in UK Central Foods Rolls Out Vegan American Pancakes in UK
British frozen food distributor Central Foods has extended its free-from range for foodservice operators with the introduction of a Vegan American Pancakes. The launch is in response to both the

Sysco’s Gold Finger Points to Devi Seafoods for 6th Time Sysco’s Gold Finger Points to Devi Seafoods for 6th Time
Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India-headquartered Devi Seafoods has again struck gold in the Sysco Supplier Excellence Awards competition. Its latest victory, announced on November 2, marked the

Major Tuna Trader in Spain, Actemsa, Now FOS Compliant Major Tuna Trader in Spain, Actemsa, Now FOS Compliant
Actemsa S.A., a Spanish importer-exporter specializing in frozen fish and processed tuna, has received Friend of the Sea (FOS) certification for the skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna it buys and

Saucy Fish Co. Nets Listing at Iceland’s Food Warehouse Saucy Fish Co. Nets Listing at Iceland’s Food Warehouse
Thanks to a highly successful trial launch in The Food Warehouse by Iceland’s Wolverhampton store, the Saucy Fish Co. has obtained national distribution in the United Kingdom with the frozen retail

NFRA Elects New Officers and Directors at Annual Meeting NFRA Elects New Officers and Directors at Annual Meeting
Dave Jones, vice president of industry initiatives at Kellogg Company, was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA-headquartered National Frozen &

Lineage Cool Port Oakland Hub Offers Speed and Efficiency Lineage Cool Port Oakland Hub Offers Speed and Efficiency
Lineage Logistics and Dreisbach Enterprises officially opened Lineage Cool Port Oakland on November 1. Situated on 25 acres at the Port of Oakland’s bustling waterfront, it will serve as the newest

Jennie-O Launches ‘Give Your Family the Bird’ Ad Campaign Jennie-O Launches ‘Give Your Family the Bird’ Ad Campaign
This Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, Jennie-O Turkey Store, a wholly owned subsidiary of Austin, Minnesota-headquartered Hormel Foods, is encouraging busy hosts in the USA to give their

Colombia Moves to Slap Anti-dumping Duty on Fry Imports Colombia Moves to Slap Anti-dumping Duty on Fry Imports
The Colombian government’s Committee on Commercial Practices in Bogotá has recommended the imposition of anti-dumping duties on frozen potato products sourced from Belgium, the Netherlands and

US Foods to Build Distribution Facility in California US Foods to Build Distribution Facility in California
Rosemont, Illinois-headquartered US Foods Holding Corp. on October 31 announced construction plans for a 355,000-square-foot distribution center in McClellan, California. The facility will house

Imperial Gets $20M Credit, Launches Happy Healthy Range Imperial Gets $20M Credit, Launches Happy Healthy Range
Wake Forest, North Carolina-headquartered Imperial Frozen Foods has obtained a $20 million senior secured revolving line of credit from Ares Commercial Finance. Proceeds are being used to refinance