Position Yourself VS Restaurants

Building off of last month’s cover story on how retailers can make sure frozen gains stick, I believe food retailers need to position themselves as a better value versus restaurants. There’s been greater inflationary pressure on food-away-from-home. The consumer price index for this segment rose by 4.9% during the 12 months ended June 2021 versus […]

Here’s Where to Focus in 2021

COVID drove sales through the roof last year, but this year will be different. You’ll need to increase promotion and capitalize on the trend toward more at-home meals to stay healthy. Don’t drive yourself crazy by comparing this year’s scan data with that from 2020, when the pandemic pushed sales up by ridiculous levels. But […]

Panel Data Identifies Growth Drivers

Rapid frozen and dairy growth has been driven by more trips and greater spending per trip. But both departments saw a small contraction in shoppers. As a consumer panel geek in graduate school as well as for most of my business career, I learned how consumer panel data is a terrific tool for marketers to […]

20-20 Hindsights

Or should we say, 2020 hindsight? It was a tough year, but dairy and frozen departments delivered significant sales and growth vs. their counterparts. And the winners are… In my year-end assessment of edible department and category performance, I drilled down across a few NielsenIQ reported sales and growth metrics to create an overall performance […]

Aldi’s Growth is Strong, But…

Conventional grocers are outperforming value grocers such as Aldi during the COVID-19 crisis. Aldi is on track to have the nation’s third-largest grocer store count by 2022, but three factors are limiting its appeal. First, the stores are typically only about 12,000 square feet. Second, the stores stock roughly just 1,400 items. Third, more than […]

Covid-19 Driving Record Online Sales

  Which retailers and restaurants have been hit the hardest by the COVID- 19 pandemic, and what does that portend for the future? To find out, I took a look at the latest quarterly financial reports, comparing percent change in sales versus the prior year for stores or locations which have been open for at […]


Since the start of the pandemic, retailers pulled back on promotion as demand for at-home food grew. But as the economy reopens, what are you doing to extend growth? In my last three FRBuyer articles I discussed the amazing growth frozen and refrigerated foods have delivered during the COVID- 19 pandemic. Through the 52-week period […]


Many products with on-pack wellness claims are outpacing overall retail growth. Across Nielsen-measured retail channels and categories, Nielsen Wellness Track reports products labeled organic achieved a four-year compounded dollar growth rate (CAGR) of 14% — considerably higher than the 3% sales growth across the store the past 52 weeks. But several more specific wellness claims […]


Up another 3.3% last year, the category remains a major growth driver, but retailers and manufacturers need to stay on top of shifts in consumption. Across Nielsen-measured retail channels, refrigerated yogurt sales topped $7.7 billion during the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, ranking a very respectable 23rd out of 342 Nielsen-measured categories. In addition, yogurt […]


Winning the seasonal frozen and refrigerated food shopper is an important driver of year-over-year growth. While stories about Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominate media coverage of the retail industry leading up to Christmas and Hanukkah, you can bet retailers have their eye on year-end holiday food shopping as well. My local Kroger has some […]


Todd Hale discusses differences in the buying habits of Millennials and Boomers and how they might impact the future of frozen and refrigerated foods. At last month’s 2015 NFRA Convention, I shared insights on how well NFRA member categories are connected across generational and multi-cultural consumer segments, as well as among households at the extremes […]


That is the question posed by Todd Hale, who examines the impact of each approach to growth on frozen and refrigerated sales. For the third time since 2011, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) selected Nielsen to create a comprehensive state of the industry report. The company was charged with providing new and […]