Seasons change and fresh food is hard to come by, but there is one solution—frozen food. The seasonality of food is one of the most profound influences on consumer behavior, especially the frozen food sector. Seasonality affects production, distribution and consumer demand. Seasonality can impact the availability of raw materials and the costs associated with sourcing and processing these materials. For example, chicken is typically more expensive in the summer months when demand increases as people flock outdoors to cool off with watermelon.
What to freeze?
The global food market is evolving through major changes. The growing demand for plant-based products, coupled with the rising cost of raw materials, can cause seasonality to impact supply chains and production costs. Seasonality is the relative availability of a raw material at a given time of year. Seasonality impacts the cost of food, as well as its nutritional quality and its ability to be stored.
Demand variation and Pricing
Frozen food is a booming industry. With over $1 trillion in frozen food sales and over 7% growth in the past few years, it’s no secret that people everywhere love their frozen meals. In addition to seasonality, consumer demand for frozen food products is affected by social and cultural factors. For example, in some countries, there are specific time periods when frozen food is more popular (e.g., Americans purchase more frozen pizzas during the summer months). To accommodate this seasonal variability in demand, the manufacturers and retailers must plan their inventory and supply chain strategies, ensuring that they have the products that consumers want in stock and available when they want them.
In addition to impacting production and consumer demand, seasonality also affects market trends and pricing in the frozen food industry. For example, during peak seasons, when demand is high and supply is low, prices may rise, whereas during off-peak seasons, prices may drop as suppliers seek to clear inventory.
Frozen food brands – what to do?
Seasonal changes dents food brands the most. But – there’s a way. They can invest in building products that can be sourced, produced, and sold year-round, and implementing flexible supply chain and inventory management strategies.
This generation chases innovation like there’s no tomorrow. New age food brands focus a lot on product innovation and differentiation, offering unique and high-quality products that are less affected by seasonal trends. This helps in building brand loyalty even during times when demand for certain products may be lower.