Will the demand for frozen meals continue beyond the pandemic?
With the country on lockdown and most people working from home, ready-to-cook and frozen-food products have been flying off the shelves over the past few months.
Frozen meals are the new comfort food right now. But will the demand continue even beyond the pandemic?
Sharing her thoughts on why ordering frozen foods will not only benefit you during lockdown but also in the longer run, owner of Gia’s Kitchen, Gia Kramer says that one of the highlights of ordering frozen foods is that there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Kramer says whether you’re a vegan, pescatarian, vegetarian, or someone who eats just about anything, there is a huge variety of foods that you can enjoy.
She adds that ordering frozen foods is also great because you can order a range of different types of meals from one place instead of waiting for Uber Eats or Mr Delivery to collect the food from different restaurants.
Dietitian and spokesperson of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Shani Cohen, says that over the years, the frozen food industry has come a long way in terms of product variety and quality.
Cohen says frozen meals were once perceived to be a ‘back up option’ when consumers ran out of time to go to the grocery store, or when fresh products ran out. She says that frozen meals were always considered to be unhealthy, unsatisfying, and filled with preservatives.
However, with new and innovative offerings, the frozen food section in grocery stores has become a hotspot for consumers who value flavour and convenience and are health conscious.
“Food waste is one of the most pressing agricultural and environmental issues facing the world today. As the world becomes environmentally friendly and conscious, frozen food can be a big part of the solution.
“Frozen food has a much longer shelf life than fresh food – so it can reduce food waste due to longer expiration significantly. The frozen industry also helps rescue the ‘ugly’ looking produce that would otherwise be thrown away.
“Discoloured or bruised fruits and vegetables are often ignored by consumers, even though they may be perfectly safe and nutritious. Frozen food manufacturers can work around these cosmetic blemishes and incorporate these overlooked veggies into their frozen meals.
“As long as manufacturers continue to produce frozen foods of high quality and affordable prices, there is a fair expectation that the frozen food sector will continue to grow,”says Cohen.