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The stunning rise of frozen fruit

From FoodNavigator USA

While sales in much of the US frozen food category are pretty lackluster, sales of frozen fruit have surged in the past three years, with the category now worth more than $1bn vs just $300m a decade ago, says Dole Packaged Foods.

Paul Panza, senior director of marketing for Frozen at Dole Packaged Food, said that frozen fruit is the #1 fastest growing category within the frozen aisle in grocery and fourth within the overall food/beverage category, with dollar sales growing 13.4% in 2014 compared with just 0.7% for the frozen food category as a whole.

He told FoodNavigator-USA: “Sales have been growing steadily since we entered the market in 2005 but in the past three years things have really taken off. That’s when we started to see the double-digit growth. Not only were people buying more, but when we started looking at the numbers in 2013 we saw that household penetration was up 3.5 points vs 2012… usage has completely changed into everyday healthier products, like smoothies, toppings for oatmeal, salads, yogurt, and snacking instead of for desserts and baking – something that you’d buy once or twice a year in a holiday recipe.”

Drilling down to the SKU level, volume growth (in pounds) is coming from mixed berries (+23%), mixed fruit (+22%), tropical fruit (+37%), mango (+43%), and pineapple (+44%), whereas more traditional fruits such as strawberries grew at a more modest 5% in 2014, he said.

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