Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Frozen Snacks Consumer market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

Frozen snacks are seldomly used as snacks or for entertaining. Less than a quarter of consumers serve the products while entertaining, and 55% of people who bought pizza bites/rolls say frozen snacks make a good light meal. Indeed, frozen snacks are much more likely to be a lunch solution, but beyond lunch, frozen snacks have yet to penetrate other dayparts significantly, and brands could draw inspiration from restaurants that encourage small plates and appetizers as meals.

While many food and drink category sales are nearly back to normal, sales of frozen snacks followed up stellar growth in 2020 with even more growth (4%) in 2021, surely a reflection of the lingering impact of the pandemic. It also indicates that brands retain the opportunity to maintain the momentum gained during the pandemic; frozen snacks have become a more regular part of the shopping list, yet still have room to expand in occasions beyond lunches or snacks.

Younger adults traditionally express interest in a broader array of cuisines, yet this is a group that frozen snack brands struggle to appeal to. A greater diversity of cuisines would appeal to this sizable group, as would a greater focus on regional flavors.

The continued blurring between snacks and meals is great opportunity for frozen snacks, which can toe the line between both. With the pandemic, frozen snacks became a more regular presence on shopping lists and have managed to retain that position. To remain part of consumers’ consideration set, brands will have to not only keep current frozen snack occasions but also add more occasions to the mix.

Read on to discover more about the US Frozen Snacks consumer market, read our US Ice Cream and Frozen Novelties Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Frozen Snacks research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the frozen snacks category.
  • Frozen snack occasions.
  • Frozen snack behaviors.
  • Attitudes toward frozen snacks.
  • Frozen snacks market.
  • Frozen snack industry.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Nestlé, Hot Pockets, J.M. Smucker’s, Uncrustables, Lean Cuisine, Pepperoni Bites, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Totino’s Pizza Roll, Ruiz Food Products, Ajinomoto Foods NA, Tyson Foods, White Castle Management Co, Rich Products Corporation, Foster Farms, Kaufhold’s Kurds, Louisa Foods, Trader Joe’s, Brazi Bites, Day-Lee Foods, Target, Chef Bombay, CJ foods, Tattooed Chef, Kellogg’s MorningStar Farms, Wholly Veggie!, B&G Foods, Green Giant.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Billy Roberts, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Convenience is at the core of frozen snacks occasions and choice, which has served the category yet suggests that these steadfast ties may also limit consumer perceptions under normal circumstances. In the pandemic, with its restrictions and stresses, consumers turned to frozen snacks at an accelerated pace to fill seemingly less conventional occasions, growing category sales 21% in 2020 and another 4% in 2021 to reach $6.8 billion. As life with increased out-of-home activities becomes the norm, maintaining the momentum will require messaging to promote versatility and satiety targeting both meals and snacks to remain in the consideration set.
William Roberts, Jr -- Senior Food & Drink Analyst
Billy Roberts
Senior Analyst – Food and Drink

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
    • Sales surpass even 2020’s lofty total
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of frozen snacks, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 2: Total US sales and forecast of frozen snacks, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Impact of COVID-19 on frozen snacks
      • Figure 3: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on frozen snacks, August 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
      • Figure 4: Frozen snacks as a meal replacement, by age, 2021
    • Single-serve should serve more than a single purpose
      • Figure 5: Interest in portion-controlled frozen snacks, any agree, by parental status, 2021
    • Cater to consumer interest in flavor exploration
      • Figure 6: Interest in international frozen snacks, any agree, by age, 2021
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Frozen snacks’ 2021 sales outperform even 2020
    • Appetizers benefit most from the meal/snack blur
    • Cater to consumer demand for flavor exploration
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Sales remain well ahead of 2019
      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of frozen snacks, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of frozen snacks, at current prices, 2016-26
  5. Segment Performance

    • Appetizers fit the bill for more fluid occasions
      • Figure 9: Sales of frozen snacks, by segment, 2019 and 2021
      • Figure 10: Sales of frozen snacks, by segment, 2019 and 2021
    • Supermarkets gain ground on other channels
      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of frozen snacks, by channel, at current prices, 2016-21
      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of frozen snacks, by channel, at current prices, 2016-21
  6. Market Factors

    • Expand appeal beyond families
      • Figure 13: Percentage of households with children, 2008-18
    • Economics will keep food spend at home
      • Figure 14: Consumer Sentiment Index, 2019-21
    • eCommerce growth points to online opportunities
      • Figure 15: Total US online sales and forecast of groceries, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Consumer base grows increasingly diverse
      • Figure 16: Percentage change in population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2015-25
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Other brands, private label come on strong to shake up the leaderboard
    • Plant-based fever finds frozen snacks
    • GMO-free claims
  8. Market Share

    • Brand share fragments as PL, other brands make significant gains
    • Sales of frozen snacks by company
      • Figure 17: Sales of frozen snacks, by company, 2020 and 2021
  9. Competitive Strategies

    • Brands target BFY quality in the air . . . fryer
    • Global options get a refresh
    • Vegetable, plant-based brands get snacking
  10. Market Opportunities

    • Set your brand up to fill heartier, nutritional needs
      • Figure 18: Frozen snacks as a meal replacement, by age, 2021
    • Single-serve options open the playing field for frozen snacks
      • Figure 19: Interest in portion-controlled frozen snacks, any agree, by parental status, 2021
    • Enter the relatively open space for GMO-free claims
      • Figure 20: US food introductions featuring a GMO-free claim, 2016-21
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Room to grow frozen snack repertoires
    • Frozen snack consumption still strong
    • Frozen snacks = much more than a snack
    • Make frozen snacks for grownups
    • Find the balance between BFY and indulgence with cleaner formulation
  12. Types of Frozen Snacks Purchased

    • The pandemic inspired frozen snack exploration
      • Figure 21: Purchase of frozen snacks, 2020-21
    • Young palates drive the further diversification of frozen snacks
      • Figure 22: Purchase of frozen snacks, by age, 2021
    • Non-parents can use some brand attention
      • Figure 23: Purchase of frozen snacks, by parental status, 2021
    • Adults under 55 enjoy a broader variety of frozen snacks
      • Figure 24: Repertoire of Frozen Snack Purchase, by age, 2021
    • New occasions can be the gateway for less-engaged consumer
      • Figure 25: Occasions, by repertoire of Frozen Snack Purchase, 2021
  13. Frozen Snack Barriers to Purchase

    • Processed stigmas may be slipping
      • Figure 26: Reasons for not purchasing frozen snacks, by age, 2021
  14. Changes in Frozen Snack Consumption

    • A year later, frozen snack use remains consistent, elevated
      • Figure 27: Changes in frozen snack consumption, 2021
    • Maintain momentum as a go-to meal and snack solution
      • Figure 28: Reasons for eating more frozen snacks than one year ago, 2021
  15. Frozen Snack Usage Occasions

    • Entertain new roles for frozen snacks
      • Figure 29: Frozen snack usage occasions, 2021
    • Non-parents need frozen snacks too
      • Figure 30: Frozen snack usage occasions, by parental status, 2021
    • At-home and hybrid workers are ripe targets for brands
      • Figure 31: Frozen snack consumption changes, by occasions for frozen snacks, 2021
  16. Frozen Snack Behaviors

    • Consumers want more and more from frozen snack brands
      • Figure 32: Frozen snack behaviors, 2021
    • Resonate with young people via value, variety and taste
      • Figure 33: Frozen snacks as a meal replacement, by age, 2021
  17. Attitudes toward Frozen Snacks

    • Take inspiration from prepared meals
      • Figure 34: Opinions of frozen snacks, any agree, by parental status, 2021
    • Help parents keep the freezer full with value
      • Figure 35: Shopping for frozen snacks, any agree, by parental status, 2021
    • Recognize healthier ≠ healthy
      • Figure 36: Frozen snacks, health and air fryers, by age, 2021
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 37: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen snacks, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 38: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen snacks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 39: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen snacks, by segment, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 40: Total US retail sales of frozen snacks, by segment, at current prices, 2019 and 2021
      • Figure 41: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen appetizers/snack rolls/pretzels, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 42: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen appetizers/snack rolls/pretzels, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 43: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen handheld entrées, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 44: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen handheld entrées, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
  20. Appendix – Companies and Brands

      • Figure 45: Sales of frozen snacks, by company, 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 46: Multi-outlet sales of frozen handheld entrées, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 47: Multi-outlet sales of frozen appetizers/snack rolls/pretzels, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
  21. Appendix – Consumer

      • Figure 48: Average household spending on frozen snacks, 2016-21
  22. Appendix – Retail Channels

      • Figure 49: Total US retail sales of frozen snacks, by channel, at current prices, 2016-21
      • Figure 50: Total US retail sales of frozen snacks, by channel, at current prices, 2019 and 2021
      • Figure 51: US supermarket sales of frozen snacks, at current prices, 2016-21
      • Figure 52: US sales of frozen snacks through other retail channels, at current prices, 2016-21

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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