At face value, it’s been a rough stretch for frozen. The top eight brands are down almost eight percent this year, according to a study by Catalina Marketing. And things took an even more symbolic downturn when the venerable Green Giant brand was sold to B & G Foods by longtime parent company General Mills.
But like a tree in a dense forest, in the frozen foods aisle, as one giant falls, smaller sprouts start to grow. Like its brethren at Saffron Road and Evol, Veggie Fries are a brand that, among many others, is trying to bring momentum back into the frozen food aisle. Other brands are hopping on board, hoping that new principles of novelty, simpler ingredients, and flavor variety will carry over into the space, which has seen its interest to shoppers erode as they have moved to the store perimeter. Even older independent brands are getting in on the act: Dr. Praeger’s, for example, is in the midst of a brand revamp even as new ones come into the market.
At the just-finished Natural Products Expo East show, Project NOSH stopped by Veggie Fries for a chat with founder David Peters about the overall changes taking place in the frozen foods section, as well as the way he hopes to attract a new generation of consumers with revamped versions of a much-beloved side dish.