“It’s a dramatic transformation,” says the food manager
Consumers continue to grapple with inflation — and it leads to changing behaviors at the grocery store.
Saffron Road, which makes clean label frozen food products and better meals for you, has noticed a slight increase in sales over the past few months as more shoppers are gravitating toward frozen products amid the current economic environment.
“The past six months, we’ve been in a rage,” Adnan Durrani, CEO of Saffron Road, told Yahoo Finance, adding that the brand had seen “record months, every month.”
Durrani explained that the frozen foods category grew fresh by 230% this year — a growth rate the CEO had never seen before in his decades-long career.
Historically, “the freshest spaces are usually always frozen, but what we’re seeing now is an exciting transformation.”
why? “Freeze is nature’s pause button,” Durrani said, stressing that frozen products, especially organic and locally sourced food, “preserve that freshness” over time and allow for a longer shelf life “for over a year.”
Throughout the pandemic, which has led to a severe backlog in supply chains, consumers have been “extremely concerned about the poor performance of fresh produce.”
“Sale dates have been shortened because of the supply chain,” Durrani said. “People were also making fewer trips to the store, so the items stayed on the shelf for a long time.”
We don’t see much on the horizon in terms of subsiding inflation – it seems to be getting worse and worse…Adnan Durrani, CEO of Saffron Road
The new data also underscores the jump in many frozen foods as market research firm Mordor Intelligence reports that COVID-19 has “positively affected the frozen food market.”
According to the report, cited by the American Frozen Food Institute, frozen food products saw a 21% increase in 2020 compared to 2019.
Moreover, a recent study from IRI and 210 Analytics, which examined the impact of higher seafood prices on consumer choice, indicated that sales of frozen seafood jumped 2.8% year-on-year last month, while sales of fresh seafood fell 11.8% compared to the same period last year. Period of time.
“Frozen and canned have two advantages over fresh seafood during inflationary times like these,” said Analytics 210 director Anne-Marie Roerink for industrial publication, seafood source.
“The first advantage is the shelf life – while fresh seafood needs to be used or frozen within a few days of purchase, frozen and canned seafood has very little waste.”
Roerink went on to explain that another advantage is price awareness because consumers generally consider frozen and canned items to be more price-conscious options.
“Freeze is now considered ESG value” too – another benefit to the overall class, Durrani added at Saffron Road.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), up to 40% of all American food is not eaten with 87% of food waste coming from fresh vegetables, fruits, and bread.
“A lot of people really realize that [food waste] Now — looking at grocery bills, looking at how much they’re really throwing away, looking at what they’re keeping.”
“The freezer has become a necessity to reduce this problem,” the executive explained.
Inflation “ seems to be getting worse .
The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics increased 8.3% in April from the same month last year, down slightly from its 8.5% advance in March.
The cost of food is up 9.4%, with items in the home category up a whopping 10.8% — the highest increase since 1980, according to BLS economist Steve Reed.
Overall in 2022, grocery store prices increased at least 1.0% on a monthly basis.
However, despite those inflationary pressures, Durrani revealed that Saffron Road (which is already selling at a higher price point due to its position in the “best for you” category) has outperformed the market with “increased speeds over the past couple of years”, Especially the last six months.”
“Consumers are making a premium choice to pay for the ‘best for you’ brands,” he continued, adding that the brand has raised its prices twice since the pandemic began – once last year (+5%) and again this year (+5%).
“We haven’t seen any backlash when it comes to these price increases,” he revealed.
However, the CEO warned that there could be a “recession backlash” and “a kind of price elasticity disruption” in the second half of the year as higher costs affect the food system overall.
He also revealed that the price hike severely affected the company’s margins.
The CEO lamented, “Hopefully some of that will start to stabilize, but we don’t see much on the horizon in terms of easing inflation – it looks like it’s getting worse.”
He added that it’s not just the higher prices for food and ingredients, but also costs for packaging, shipping, gasoline and fertilizer – although he noted that higher gas prices mean fewer trips to the grocery store, which in turn benefits the freezer category.
Going forward, the CEO expects the food sector to see a “smart style” with some consumers relying on discount brand products, while others continue to opt for premium brands.
“It’s still a conservative option,” Durrani explained. “You pay a little more for a premium brand, but that’s still a lot less than eating in a restaurant.”
Average menu prices in April were up 7.2% from a year ago — the largest gain in 12 months since 1981, the National Restaurant Association said.
Alexandra is the Senior Entertainment and Food Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter aliecanal8193 Or email her at email@example.com
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