A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.
🔮 Peek into the future:
What’s thawed is cool again
Snaxshot of market + favorite up and coming
Challenges and opportunities
Snaxverse happenings + spoonful of news
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Eating From Your Freezer is Cool Again
Greetings from your favorite ethereal being in a non-fungible corpse, hoping you read the title of this to the tune of Capital One’s, Samuel Jackson’s rendition of “What’s in your wallet?” —but for real, here to seduce you into letting me take a sneak peek into your fridge, we are snaxpals after all?
Do you remember your first TV diner experience? If you’re a kid of the 90s like me, I’m guessing yours was also provided by a hip, penguin chef formerly known as K.C. who delighted our 7-year old sophisticated palettes, half-burnt by Totino’s rolls, with a meal of chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and a side of dessert, all in one.
You may think that the idea of frozen food came along with the invention of fridges etc but you would be wrong considering humans have been freezing food for almost as long as our existence (1000 B.C.) but there is certainly one man (unfortunately) we have to thank for our modern frozen snacks, Clarence Birdseye (that’s literally his name).
By 1927 he had applied for a patent for a freezing machine and by 1930, the first line of frozen foods went public through Birds Eye Frosted Food Company—it included flash-frozen foods such as fish fillets, cuts of meat, as well as fruits and veggies like spinach and raspberries.
During WWII, Americans were being encouraged to purchase frozen foods (due to food rationing) which further spread indoctrination into this format of food and by 1944, W.L. Maxson created the first frozen dinner called "Strato-Plates," which sold to the Navy and airlines. The meals consisted of meat, vegetables and a potato, on a paperboard tray treated with Bakelite resin and frozen meals as we know it were born.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include the fact that there is such a thing as the Frozen Food Hall of Fame that includes many of the pioneers and heads of the industry, otherwise known as The Distinguished Order of Zerocrats, established in 1954, though in my humble opinion would have been better branded as Chilluminatti.
The Zerocrats have been toasting to frozen fish sticks all through 2020 as the pandemic proved to be a very profitable year for frozen foods of all kinds, see:
—Frozen foods driving center of store sales growth = $$ spend rising 21% from 2019 to 2020 + almost all frozen product categories have double-digit sales increases
—Frozen foods did $65 billion in retail sales in US in 2020 —households that bought frozen foods online almost doubled from 2018 (23%) to 2020 (42%)
—Sales surge was helped by shoppers turning to online shopping at record rate, online frozen food dollar sales increased 75%!
—Dinner, snacks + breakfast =top drivers of increased frozen food purchases since onset of the pandemic.
—Frozen foods category growing at a CAGR of 5.0%
—Increase in organic produce demand helping frozen food market in attaining noticeable growth.
—Global frozen food market size in 2018 stood between $225 billion to $228 billion.
—The top three frozen food categories with the largest percentage of dollar growth in 2020, according to IRI, include seafood (+35.3%), poultry (+34.7%) and appetizers (+28.9%)
—Amid pandemic, share of core frozen food consumers, defined as those who consume frozen food daily or every few days, rose from 35% in 2018 to 39% in 2020.
—To most frozen food consumers (72%), it’s not frozen or fresh — it’s frozen and fresh.
Ipsa: They are setting the standard high when it comes to frozen food, Ipsa meals are thoughtfully-sourced, artisanal frozen dishes that won’t make you feel gloomy whilst staring at the microwave. Delivery limited to NYC for the moment, pick-up available.
Chef Bombay: Though not new, Chef Bombay went through an incredible rebrand and now has by far the coolest packaging of a frozen meal I have come across. They are based in Canada and have an amazing origin story.
Dumpling Baby: Based in Australia and are literal babies because they have yet to start a website, but love their overall branding.
Pizza Cupcake: This is here because I have a love hate relationship with the concept, I’m like yo this is basically just a garlic roll with sauce but apparently they were recently on SharkTank and the sharks ate it up, literally.
Sanditas: Available in Los Angeles only, these dumplings and fortune cookies are incredibly cool, look at those colors and rainbow effect they have? Absolutely must try if you’re in the area, you can thank me later for this find, perhaps over dumpling dinner?
General Assembly: PIZZA SUBSCRIPTION!?! SIGN ME UP. Literally, General Assembly is based in Canada, recently raised $13 million in series A funding and have other 3K subscribers after launching their program in September.
Toast-It: I am absolutely for this movement of arepas being the new Eggo and the convenience of these frozen ones that you only have to insert into toaster. Currently only available in NYC but rooting for arepa takeover.
Talia Napoli: Look, if you’re a pizza snob, I’m just the messenger, but this pizza company delivers Napolitan pizzas DTC and they actually look really good?! But I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Gefilteria: Tweeted about this company that dose frozen gefilte fish and it got mixed reactions? They only produce for Passover and high holidays and thought they have annoucned they are outfitting retailers this week. Keep a lookout!
Good Pierogi: Love to see these pre-order, drop frozen food products, Good Pierogi has been taking orders and delivering its batches this month so get yours while you can!
Freezer Burn 🥶
Sustainability in packaging as more companies are pledging to reduce carbon foot print + waste
On-time delivery and high fluctuations in demand from consumers, especially after 2020, lack of a proper supply chain system, and consistent fear of cold chain systems failing.
Very strict government regulations and industry standards to maintain
Let it thaw, let it thaw
Increase in organic produce demand + consumer demand for fresh vegetables, seafood, and fruits that have a longer shelf life has skyrocketed
Cryogenic freezing of food items extends shelf lives + makes them free from any added preservatives which appeals to change in consumer taste for better-for-you products.
Snaxverse Happenings 🌌
What’s going on at SXS? Funny you asked…
—We’re now 2K members on Clubhouse where we discuss very important topics, we meet every Thursday 9AM PST/12PM EST:
—We launched our first “drop” where you can breakup with brands and get paired with better-for-you suitors at youmeetbrands.com, stay tuned for more drops in the future!
Spoonful of News 🥄
—Dunkin Donuts released an avocado toast because it’s 2008 all over again.
—Mars Wrigley released a candy selling robot called Smiley
—Nestlé acquires SimplyCook further banking on DTC initiatives, this time in UK
—Pepsi released line of non-alcoholic, cocktail mixers that look like a bad acid trip
—Producer/influencer Murdabeatz launches Psychedelic Water and it’s everything that’s wrong with this world
—SmartWater launches "functional” flavors and I ask myself, has this space peaked?
Tiny bites 👅
—Loved this artists “pick a juice” —which one are you?
—I’ve come to the conclusion that Gushers are actually just sweet Totino’s rolls considering the rolls predate the candy
—Have also come to the conclusion after further investigation on Banana Laffy Taffy based on the Gros Michel Banana flavor, that candy can serve as “flavor fossils”
—Here’s a freebie idea for you: powdered milk bombs that you can add to your drinks; think coffee, tea, smoothies?! You’re welcome.
See you again next week, a different future, same place.
🔮 Share with your friends and let them know forecasting trends is the new astrology: