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Buttering Up Consumers in Frozen Vegetables

frozen vegetables

Flavored butter dollops are an easy way to add flavor to heat and serve vegetables.

Flavoring Veggies A Key to Continued Category Growth

Frozen vegetables sales grew during a year of pandemic by more than 15%*. How will the $3 billion category continue its rise in a post-pandemic environment? One opportunity is to make frozen vegetables’ flavor even better with flavors ranging from flavored butters to vegan-centric sauces.

“We’ve seen a significant rise in inquiries from frozen vegetable customers looking to our butter dollops and sauces to add value to their products,” says Lucia Falek, Vice-President of Development and Quality Systems at Butterball Farms. “Our flavored dollops work especially well on frozen green vegetables such as green beans, asparagus and brussels sprouts. We’re also developing special flavors and coatings for frozen potatoes that add spiciness or perhaps a garlic or herb flavor.”

Green vegetables have a significant opportunity for growth because of their known functional benefits to nutrition. A consumer survey by Datassential in 2020 found a dramatic rise in consumers thinking of food as a medicine to boost immunity through nutrients and vitamins. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in vegetable nutrition, plant-based proteins and anything that’s better for you,” said Conagra’s Tom McGough, Executive Vice President and Co-Chief Operating Officer during an interview with data giant IRI.

Conagra is leveraging their insights to accelerate new product development like never before. “We’ve set a goal to have a renewal rate of 15%,” said McGough. “That means that we realize sales of essentially 15% of our total from products introduced in the last three years. Our renewal rate is consistently higher than that.” Part of Conagra’s success has been a focus on convenience and a healthy halo positioning that has attracted younger Gen Z and Millennial consumers. While the frozen vegetable category grew by 15.3% last year, Conagra’s overall brand share grew by 18.3%*.

idaho potatoes

Idahoan’s success in its new premium flavored mashed potato line is indicative of the opportunities flavored butters have for CPG products.

The growth in Idahoan shelf stable mashed potatoes is indicative of the opportunities within the frozen vegetable category by leveraging flavor. The premium flavored mashed potato category grew last year by 92%* led by Idahoan’s new Buttery Homestyle Mashed, Roasted Garlic and Baby Reds products that attracted 4.2 million new buyers.

Butterball Farms has helped companies drive innovation for more than 60 years and frozen vegetables are no exception. “While butter is in our name, we are much more than just butter in our capabilities to develop and ramp up a variety of sauces to scale quickly for CPG customers, says Joy Pellek, Director of Business Development at Butterball Farms. “Because of the growth in veganism, we are helping manufacturers with vegan sauces and spreads for a variety of applications. The opportunities for enhancing flavors in vegetables are nearly endless and interest has really increased over the past year.”

Thus, the opportunity for continuing the growth within frozen vegetables as consumers venture out from the pandemic is uniquely different flavors that add to the appeal of the inherent nutritional benefits within them. For more on how you can take advantage of flavor in your frozen vegetables, click here to learn more about Butterball Farms.

*IRI, 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2020