With so many grocers currently focussed on freshness, they may be overlooking an opportunity to generate more dough in the frozen aisle. For instance, the global frozen bakery market is estimated to reach $32.5 billion by 2018, according to a recent report from MarketsandMarkets, a Dallas-based market research company and consulting firm, with North America second only to Europe in terms of value.
“Frozen pizza crust (comprises) the largest share of the market, due to the increasing consumption of frozen pizza as part of daily meals in the western countries,” MarketsandMarkets notes. “In addition, frozen breads … account for the second-largest share of the market due to (their) additional advantage over fresh bread, which has very less shelf life. Due to the increasing trade activities of frozen cakes and pastries, especially in the North American regions, the market for these products is expected
“Many consumers are looking for convenience and variety when it comes to frozen breads,” affirms Karen Bailey, senior marketing manager for the Sister Schubert’s brand at T. Marzetti Co, in Columbus, Ohio. “They want to enjoy the homemade taste and premium quality of their favourite breads, but with convenience.”
New products such as Sweet Hawaiian Rolls and Mini Loaves, both all-natural, with zero grams of fat and ready in 10 minutes or under, as well as classic offerings like Parker House Rolls and Dinner Yeast Rolls, have helped make Sister Schubert’s a top seller in the frozen bread category and the current No. 1 frozen dinner roll brand.“Our goal is to reach consumers through a variety of efforts — print and digital advertising/marketing, FSIs and in-store promotion,” says Bailey.
Meanwhile, in the realm of merchandising, she asserts, “It’s important for the product to be clearly visible and vertically displayed ‘standing up,’ particularly for our pan rolls, as consumers are shopping in the frozen section aisles.”
There’s increased consumer interest in “better-quality ingredients and gourmet taste,” says Jen Laska, one of the founders of Los Angeles-based Jen & Joe’s Cookie Dough, whose six flavours include the recently introduced oatmeal toffee. “We’ve seen the popularity of high-end baked goods rise in the last couple of years at local bakeries. Consumers want better-tasting baked goods with fun flavours — and they are willing to pay a little more for it. This is translating to the freezer case in the local grocery store.”
Laska goes on to tout the brand’s “innovation in presenting the cookie dough conveniently pre-portioned and frozen. Consumers can bake just one or two at a time, with no waste. And because it’s frozen, we don’t need to use any artificial ingredients or preservatives.”
To encourage trial, the company has been running quarterly TPRs, according to Laska, and “we’ve also been running demos, with great success.” The brand is also “currently designing window decals to help introduce the product into new stores. We’ve heard from some independent storeowners that they struggle with promoting the freezer aisle because the products are hidden behind doors. So the window decals will help them (and us) introduce new products.”
Among the trends that should aid the category going forward is consumer demand for ‘clean’ ingredients, both Bailey and Laska note, along with more interesting flavours and smaller portions.