Opportunities In Frozen: Achieve Greater Relevance By Accounting For Regional Preferences – Food and Drugs Law


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AlixPartners recently collaborated with the American Frozen
Food Institute (AFFI) to publish a “How to Win in Frozen”
playbook, a landmark study on the state of the department. Download
the comprehensive report
and stay tuned to this five-part series, “Opportunities in
Frozen,” for insight on how to capture the coming

Location, location, location – when you’re selling
frozen food, where you’re selling it matters.

Our latest analysis shows that frozen purchase patterns vary
significantly not only by region but by subregion, including in
some ways that may surprise even established brands and grocers. In
addition, each subregion is distinct in how it engages not only
with the frozen department overall but with individual frozen

Within the West, for example, heavy shoppers for frozen pizza
are considerably over-indexed in the Mountain subregion (115) and
significantly under-indexed in the Pacific subregion (69). The two
subregions behave uniquely with other categories as well.


For some frozen categories, outsize interest is concentrated in
just two or three subregions, highlighting the territories most
critical to driving sales for those categories (Figure 2).


The Northeast is the only region in which heavy shoppers for
most frozen categories are under-indexed across the board, but
there’s a big exception to that rule: frozen meat alternatives,
for which New England is the top subregion in the nation (Figure


The top three subregions for heavy shoppers of frozen overall
belong to the Midwest, the South and the West, showing pockets of
committed consumers throughout the country (Figure 4).


The discovery of these and many other regional preferences -
which can be explored further in the “How to Win in
Frozen” playbook from AlixPartners and the American Frozen
Food Institute – has major implications for grocers and brands, and
the trends shared here should be considered during both internal
and collaborative processes.

CPGs can use this information as a springboard for customer
conversations about in-stock priorities. Knowledge of regional
preferences becomes especially critical when supply constraints
arise. Instead of fulfilling orders on a strictly first-come,
first-serve basis or making replenishment decisions chiefly on
customer relationship dynamics, suppliers can layer those factors
along with regionality to allocate constrained inventory. With this
multi-faceted approach, brands can more effectively support
customers by differentiating supply chain delivery to ensure that
each grocer they serve will have the products and categories
in-stock that matter most to shoppers in their area.

Knowing in which subregions different categories resonate can
also help CPGs be more judicious in their trade funding and retail
media spending. Regional preferences can provide direction on ideal
locations for new product launches, line extensions, promotional
campaigns and other projects.

These purchase patterns also present a slew of optimization
opportunities for grocers. Retailers can re-segment stores and
create region-specific assortments based on these trends. They can
layer regional preferences into the equation as they decide in
which categories they need to provide more choices for their
shoppers and in which categories fewer options will suffice.

CPGs and retailers will see the greatest gains by examining
these regional preferences together and exploring the opportunities
they present. Trading partners who collaborate and make regional
preferences a consideration in their strategy will be taking
strides toward a more satisfied and loyal frozen shopper base
– and strides toward earning their share of the $10 billion in growth that’s projected for
frozen in the next three years.

Want more? Check out these other recent insights from the
experts at AlixPartners.

Opportunities in frozen: $10 billion in growth up
for grabs over next three years

Consumer Products Corner – Financial
Fitness: Which companies will emerge from this upcoming holiday
season as winners … and which will be left behind?

Assess before you invest: Why a data deep dive
must be the first step for grocers exploring AI

5 undercurrents reshaping the future of the
alcoholic beverage industry

The $100 billion opportunity for U.S.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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