The refrigerated food market is booming and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Consumer demand is up for refrigerated and frozen food after many years of low sales. This is a definite boon for the companies in the industry, and also for logistics providers as they come up with quick ways to meet consumer demand. Here are a few of the reasons the market is up and the ways the logistics industry is responding.
Blame the Millennials
Fast-food is no longer the food du jour. These days, millennials are driving the frozen food industry. Their tastes tend towards a preference for locally sourced, ethnically diverse, healthier fresh food products in a wide variety of options. Foods that are highly processed with a long shelf life are out and wholesome foods are in. Why is this self-described foodie generation making a dash for the frozen food aisle? Simple–it’s easy, cheaper, and usually more nutritious than take-out, and portion sizes are easier to control.
The Meal-Kit Industry
Who hasn’t tried a meal-kit? Whether it’s HelloFresh, Daily Harvest, or Blue Apron, more and more consumers are leaning in when it comes to fresh meal delivery to their doors. These meal-kit delivery companies and many others are part of the new $5 billion industry in the United States alone. What’s the draw? There’s something for everyone from vegans to those who want to cook but not shop to the keto only eaters. Only have time to throw something in a blender but want something full of superfoods and fresh nutrients? They’ve got you! Meal kits are making it easy and (somewhat) affordable to eat healthily and skip the planning.
Frozen Foods are Just as Fresh
Consumers are getting educated about frozen foods. Studies have shown they are as fresh as fresh food, and at times, fresher. Frozen foods also help the food waste problem; namely the $1,500 per year an average in refrigerated food that families discard after it spoils. Frozen foods also tend to cost less than their fresh counterparts, which can result in a decreased grocery bill. Add in other perks like the ease of use and pre-prepping and people can eat healthier without the hassle of chopping, dicing, and peeling.
Eat the Pizza, Save the Flight Cost
For those who move away from their hometown originals, like say, Chicagoans who long for a Lou Malnati’s pizza, only have to point and click to get it shipped to them wherever they are. As more brick and mortar storefronts disappear, brands like Boston Market and California Pizza Kitchen, can serve their loyal fan base in the frozen section. Even brands with high visibility like PF Chang’s have brought some of their most popular dishes to a freezer section near you.
With so many reasons to buy in the frozen foods, the logistics industry is stepping up to meet the ever-growing demand. Logistics companies are moving to “control tower” management techniques to increase track-and-trace capabilities. The industry is also seeing an expansion of both refrigerated vehicles and cold storage as demand grows by approximately 12% each year. Third-party logistics providers, like Merchandise Warehouse, offer clients a way to meet consumer demand without having to take on additional cost or fuss with our multi-temp warehouse space that offers quick freezing as well as deep freezing, and meticulous temperature monitoring. Contact us to learn more about how we can work together.