While sales of frozen foods have been flat or edging only slightly up or down in recent years, frozen snacks have been an area of opportunity and innovation, with new products and packaging designed to catch the eye and appetite of consumers. According to data from Chicago-based IRI, sales of frozen appetizers and snack rolls increased 5.1 percent from November 2016 to November 2017.
Suppliers, in turn, are adding to their frozen snack offerings or getting creative with new products. The Oscar Mayer brand from Pittsburgh-headquartered Kraft Heinz, for example, recently added four frozen snacks, including Ham & Cheddar Slider Melts, Turkey and Provolone Slider Melts, Mini Sausage Rolls and Mini Corn Dogs; the sliders are packaged in 10-ounce boxes of six sliders, the corn dogs are packaged in 9-ounce boxes and the sausage rolls are packaged in a 7.75 ounce box of eight. The package design features the traditional red and yellow colors of the Oscar Mayer brand.
Other brands, including those in the better-for-you and free-from sector, are also producing and packaging frozen snacks to fit into consumers’ snacking occasions. Start Right Foods, St. Louis, Mo., recently rolled out new waffle sliders, made with gluten-free lean beef sausage and egg and available in a box of two for an SRP of $4.99. Last year, the Jafflz brand from Park City, Utah, entered the retail market with a line of toasted pockets made without nitrates, hormones or antibiotics and sold by the pair in a stand-up resealable pouch; varieties range from a Hammie Jaffle to a Chilaquiles Jaffle to a sweet Chocolate Mono Jaffle.
While mini sandwiches and sliders are as much, if not more so, snack than meal, other types of new frozen snacks have hit the freezer case. Ellio’s of Mount Laurel, N.J. has added new frozen breadsticks made with the brand’s signature crust. A dozen “breakable” slices are sold in a 13.6-ounce box.
For seafood and protein snackers, meantime, the Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Dr. Praeger’s brand unveiled frozen Alaskan Pollack Fish Bites, available in Fish Taco Bites and Buffalo Fish Bites sold in 10-ounce boxes “More and more consumers, particularly millennials, are looking for the convenience of quick, nutritious meals and snacks right from the freezer, and they’re turning to sustainable seafood as a healthy alternative to meat,” remarks CEO Larry Praeger.