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Frozen food dollar sales climbed 21% in 2020 as consumers stocked up amid the COVID-19 crisis.

AFFI, IRI serve up real-time frozen food sales data

New Unify tool offers performance insights across categories and other criteria

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has partnered with CPG market researcher IRI Worldwide on a new business intelligence tool that enables AFFI members to access frozen food sales data in real time.

Called Unify, the platform provides IRI data on frozen food sales performance by category, department and aisle as well as across time periods, measures and product selection, Arlington, Va.-based AFFI said yesterday. AFFI members can access Unify by going online to, clicking on the “IRI Unify” image and then logging into the AFFI members website.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to add value for our members,” according to Alison Bodor, president and CEO of AFFI, which represents manufacturers, distributors and other suppliers in the $65.1 billion frozen food industry. “This latest AFFI member benefit is an expansion of our partnership with IRI to provide our members with free market data and analysis tools that would be prohibitively expensive for many of our members to purchase on their own.”

AFFI noted that it first collaborated with Chicago-based IRI on “The Power of Frozen 2019” study, done with FMI, to explore Americans’ consumption and use of frozen foods as well as “mega-trends” shaping frozen purchases. Since then, the organizations have regularly partnered to help give frozen food manufacturers and retailers a better grasp of consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviors related to frozen food to optimize production, marketing, merchandising and branding decisions.

In 2020, frozen food sales rose 21% in dollars and and 13.3% units, with nearly all categories seeing double-digit sales gains as consumers stocked up amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to AFFI’s and IRI’s latest report with FMI-The Food Industry Association, “The Power of Frozen 2021,” released in February. The top three frozen categories in terms of dollar sales growth were seafood (+35.3%), poultry (+34.7%) and appetizers (+28.9%).

“IRI is excited to build upon our ongoing partnership with AFFI to facilitate this win-win opportunity for our clients and their customers,” Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president and client insights practice leader at IRI, said in a statement on the Unify platform. “While the coronavirus pandemic drove a 21% increase of retail frozen food sales due to the majority of eating occasions being consumed at home, we look forward to providing ongoing insights to support the future economic health of the industry.”

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