A new Freedonia Group analysis finds that sales of frozen meat, poultry, and seafood packaging spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, with demand in 2020 nearly 6% high than in 2019.
However, this growth rate hides very divergent trends. While frozen meat, poultry, and seafood (MPS) sales were up strongly for consumers, demand in the foodservice market fell sharply, hindered by restaurant closures early in the pandemic and reduced foodservice business for 2020 overall.
Seafood Packaging: Some Retail Frozen Sales Soared 30-40% Early in Pandemic
Retail sales of frozen meat, poultry, and seafood skyrocketed in the early months 2020 following lockdown, with some retail products seeing increases of 30-40% compared to the same time during the prior year. This was due largely to elevated demand for frozen foods as consumers:
- prepared more meals at home in lieu of eating out
- increased their interest in having a stock of nonperishable foods at home, as 71% of respondents to The Freedonia Group National Online Consumer Survey conducted in August 2020 indicated that they like to have a stockpile of nonperishable food at home in case of an emergency
- sought frozen foods as part of that stockpiling or increased home cooking, as 43% indicated that they were buying more frozen food because of the coronavirus pandemic
Frozen MPS packaging demand will remain elevated in 2021. However, the Freedonia Group study finds growth will return to historical rates through 2024 as the surge in demand at the food retail level moderates, with demand for MPS packaging forecast to grow 3.6% annually to $2.6 billion in 2024.
Frozen Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Packaging is now available from the Freedonia Group.