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U.S. frozen food volume creeps up, despite losses in prepared FF, juice.

Category gains and losses partly on paper, due to changes in data base, but small overall increase seems apparent.

Frozen food volume inched up again last year in the United States, despite setbacks in prepared foods and juice concentrates. Poundage was 29.277 billion (13.280 million kilograms), while dollar value reached $51.8 billion, according to calculations by Quick Frozen Foods International.

Actual consumption, in commodity categories at least, reflects imports and exports as well as domestic production. Vegetable imports last year, for example, totaled 838.5 million pounds, up from 659.4 million the year before; but these were mostly offset by exports of 767.5 million pounds, up from 673.3 million. Broccoli was the largest import item at 376.7 million; french fries led exports at 429.2 million.

But comparisons with previous years are becoming increasingly difficult. With the demise of Selling Areas Marketing, Inc. (SAMI), which used to provide market data on prepared foods and non-citrus juices, QFFI is using data from Chicago, Ill.-based Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) for those categories -- but IRI uses a different data base (check-out scanners vs. warehouse withdrawals), and defines categories differently.

IRI combines poundage and dollar volume for dinners and entrees, doesn't break out breaded poultry, and apparently combines nationality foods and seafood snacks with dinners/entrees and side dishes. Even where its categories correspond with SAMI's, poundage and dollar figures tend to be at wide variance with SAMI's, although, perhaps by sheer coincidence, the QFFI prepared foods totals derived from IRI data are close to those from last year using projections of previous SAMI data.

Since some changes are unavoidable, QFFI is also introducing others. Almanac data on frozen vegetables now includes figures for individual items (peppers, mushrooms, celery, artichokes) and vegetable blends and mixes not reported in previous years. In most cases, blends and mixes are processed in the U.S. from vegetables frozen there for "other uses" than retail or institutional packs, and thus deserve to be counted as part of U.S. production. But onion rings were removed from the vegetable table and placed with other breaded vegetables in the prepared foods table.

Counting vegetables in the old manner, leaving in onion rings but removing celery, peppers, artichokes and mushrooms, vegetable pack tonnage was 9,657,823,000 last year, vs. 9,391,300,000 in 1991, an increase of 2.8%, while dollar value reached $6,936,767,000, up 7.2% -- in spite of the drop in prices for some major commodity vegetables. The total tonnage of vegetable blends and mixes, however, increased 10.3%, from 583,477,000 to 643,721,000, with the estimated value of same increasing from about $570 million to about $722 million. Although prepared vegetables in sauce took a beating last year, the blends were clearly still the cutting edge in frozen vegetables.

In prepared foods, the apparent-but-not-necessarily-real changes between 1991 and 1992 in projected SAMI vs. actual IRI data included 210 million pounds of dessert pies vs. 171.5 million, 412 million pounds of pizza vs. 524.7 million, 199 million pounds of meat pies vs. 169.9 million. In the case of pizza, direct store-delivered products are picked up by IRI in scanner data, whereas SAMI monitored only warehoused products. Pasta dishes, one of the IRI categories, is clearly part of what SAMI reported as "nationality foods," while "bakery products" as reported by SAMI are apparently covered under IRI categories of pastry, dough and sweet goods -- which categories add up to 476.6 million pounds in 1992, vs. a projected SAMI figure of 451 million for 1991. Breaded poultry isn't broken out by IRI as a distinct category, but even taking 70% of 369.7 million pounds given by IRI for all poultry yields a figure (258.9 million) far below the 568 million projected for 1991 from SAMI data.

In the seafood category where the data base remains essentially the same, the most notable changes were increases of 9.4% in shrimp, to 778.9 million pounds; and 27.4% in fish steaks, to 194.3 million. Fillets showed a 10% decline, to 614.1 million, while sticks were off 7.9% to 68.3 million. In frozen juices, the frozen concentrated orange juice movement was off, bringing down the entire category; but the biggest growth was in grape juice and tropical juices -- tropical juices aren't one of the traditional categories, but brand sales of known products reported by IRI suggest that their volume increased about 16% last year. In frozen fruit, strawberry volume was off 16%, but RSP cherries showed a 67% increase.

Frozen food imports increased from 3.9 billion to 4.1 billion pounds, and from $5.4 billion to $6 billion last year; but exports also gained, from 4.6 to 5.3 billion pounds, and from $4.5 billion to $5.2 billion. Boneless beef was the largest single import item, at 1.3 billion pounds and $1.47 billion, but that was actually a decline from 1.35 billion pounds and $1.6 billion in 1991. But imports of shell-on shrimp leaped from 159.5 million pounds to 394.7 million, and from $651 million to $1.3 billion. And imports of peeled and breaded were also up -- combined shrimp imports totaled 626.1 billion pounds, vs. 373.4 million, with dollar value hitting $2.059 billion (way ahead of all forms of beef), vs. only $1.336 billion. Orange juice imports declined from 322.9 million gallons and $310.5 million to 274.8 million gallons and $278.1 million.

Boneless beef and veal (461 million pounds, $953.6 million), chicken parts and offal and animal livers, tongues and offal dominated exports last year. Sockeye salmon remained the top seafood export item, with shipments increasing from 160.5 million pounds to 196.2 million, and from $287.6 million to $500.6 million.
VALUE OF ALL U.S. FROZEN FOODS(*)
1942 THROUGH 1992 (in dollars)

1942 162,000,000
1943 178,000,000
1944 197,000,000
1945 257,000,000
1946 324,000,000
1947 245,000 000
1948 292,000,000
1949 375,000,000
1950 500,000,000
1951 700,000,000
1952 875,000,000
1953 1,200,000,000
1954 1,450,000,000
1955 1,700,000,000
1956 2,106,000,000
1957 2,362,000,000
1958 2,320,000,000
1959 2,749,000,000
1960 3,037,114,000
1961 3,638,600,000
1962 3,960,000,000
1963 4,381,000,000
1964 5,246,000,000
1965 5,765,000,000
1966 6,250,000,000
1967 6,449,000,000
1968 6,990,000,000
1969 7,641,114,000
1970 7,931,000,000
1971 8,128,000,000
1972 9,230,000,000
1973 12,178,000,000
1974 13,087,444,000
1975 14,329,851,000
1976 16,712,044,000
1977 18,824,605,000
1978 20,442,355,000
1979 23,863,360,000
1980 24,718,829,000
1981 27,604,682,000
1982 30,432,419,000
1983 32,854,387,000
1984 36,203,684,000
1985 37,617,930,000
1986 40,899,955,000
1987 44,057,524,000
1988 47,776,662,000
1989 48,692,787,000
1990 51,961,770,000(**)
1991 50,280,543,000
1992 51,808,515,000

* Includes all sales of frozen fruits, vegetables,
concentrates, poultry, meats, seafoods and prepared foods at
conservative prices or at average prices paid by institutions
and reprocessors. As a generality, it can be said that retail
sales made up 65% of the total figure until about 1970, but
this percentage fluctuated so greatly between product groups
that it cannot be used as a rule of thumb. Subsequent sales
were virtually 50-50 for another decade, and currently we may
say they are approximately 45% retail to 55% institutional. Of
frozen food sales made through retail stores, chains with two
or more stores account for 70% of business.

Source: QUICK FROZEN FOODS INTERNATIONAL

** Corrected from 1991 almanac


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COPYRIGHT 1993 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
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Title Annotation:1993 Global Frozen Food Almanac; frozen foods
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Oct 1, 1993
Words:1397
Previous Article:Frozen food forum.
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