As technology and packaging improves, retailers may have an easier time maintaining the integrity of frozen foods.
"Along with better alarms, a lot of case manufacturers are working on freezer doors that don't steam up when opened and closed," said Nevin Montgomery, president, National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association, Harrisburg, Pa. "This will increase visibility of products and therefore increase sales."
Today, employees have to be trained to read the expiration date codes on packaging. In the future, manufacturers of frozen foods will likely place prominent sell-by dates on each package that are legible not only to store personnel, but consumers, too, said Brian Barrett, frozen/dairy manager at Leeker's Family Foods, Wichita, Kan.
"Dairy didn't used to be as well coded as it is now, and even though frozen has a longer shelf life, I expect that consumers will eventually demand to have freshness coding on frozen foods, too," he said.