Progressive Grocer

FEB 2017

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February 2017 | | 67 $2 billion in sales in the year ending Dec. 25, 2016, according to Chicago-based IRI. at was a slight dip, by 0.74 percent, from the previous year, but within the category, sales of such brands as Pagoda, Chungs and Hot Pockets increased. As with the rest of the frozen food sector, sales of natural, organic and specialty frozen snacks and appetizers are also edging up. SPINS, a Chicago- based research firm that tracks the natural, organic and specialty product industry, reports that sales of frozen appetizers and snacks in that arena edged up 0.4 percent from 2015 to 2016, topping $4.56 billion. Underscoring the collective craving for snacks among American consumers, several new frozen ap- petizers and snacks are filling today's grocery freezers. e iconic Velveeta brand, from Pittsburgh-based Kraft Heinz Co., recently introduced Stuffed Grilled Cheese and Cheesy Bites. Another iconic brand exten- sion: a line of Doritos Loaded frozen nacho snacks, launched last Decem- ber by Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay. Consumers looking for cleaner labels and natural ingredients can also find more options in frozen snacks and appetizers. Schwan Food Co., in Marshall, Minn., revamped its branded food portfolio to focus on simplifying ingredient labels and sourcing real ingredients. " As of September 2016, Pagoda Potstickers now contain 60 percent less sodium, a bold new Lime Ponzu sauce, and a reformulated dough optimized for an authentic steamed experience from the microwave," notes Stacey Fowler Meittunen, SVP of product innovation and development, adding that flavor is also key among today's consumers. e brand team will introduce two additional Pagoda wonton flavors, Honey Sesame Chicken and Korean BBQ Style Beef, this month. On the sweet side of snacking, new products include Donut Holes in Cinnamon Sugar and Chocolate with Vanilla Glaze varieties, both from St. Simons Island, Ga.-based Farm Rich. The World Standard For Destratification

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