Rao's Homemade® has expanded into the pizza category, and it’s fresh as can be.

March 6, 2024

4 Min Read
Revamping frozen foods: A healthy and convenient choice

The frozen food market, long perceived as the domain of budget-conscious college students and time-strapped families, has undergone a remarkable transformation. No longer a simple fast-food equivalent, it has experienced a significant surge in popularity and sales, surpassing $70 billion in 2022. This remarkable growth can be attributed to a wave of innovative products that meet the consumer desire for healthy, fresh and convenience while catering to an array of tastes and dietary preferences, signaling a shift in the frozen food landscape.

 

Amidst this growing market for frozen foods, Rao’s Made for Home launched frozen pizza, a product that embodies the fusion of convenience and quality. Established in 1992, Rao's Homemade® has been a leader in high-quality pasta sauce and has expanded its range to include soups, dry pastas and frozen entrées.

"Expanding our brand into pizza was a natural step, given our existing line of pizza sauces. We've been meticulous in developing and refining our crust and sauce to ensure a premium consumer experience, aligning with the high standards our brand is known for," says Alan Creveling, Vice President of Marketing for Rao’s Homemade.

The Nutritional Benefits of Frozen Foods

A significant shift has emerged in consumer preferences towards fresh, locally sourced and organic foods. Heightened awareness about the impact of food choices on health and the environment has led consumers to scrutinize their shopping habits more critically. The pandemic further accelerated this trend, bringing health and wellness into sharp focus for millions of Americans.

Parallel to this trend, there's an evolving narrative in the realm of frozen foods, particularly shaped by the preferences of younger generations. This demographic shift is underlined by a revealing statistic from Supermarket News, which found that 67% of consumers believe that frozen sometimes provides a better value than non-frozen, listing pizza among other categories of like vegetables, fruit and meat. The same survey found that 75% preferred frozen vegetables because they are perceived as "healthier" than fresh, and they are often a better value.

This changing perception highlights a significant movement in the frozen food market, where the traditional boundaries between quality and convenience are being redrawn. The younger generations' embrace of frozen foods reflects a broader trend where health-conscious choices, convenience and quality are harmoniously coexisting.

 

"Our approach with pizza targets discerning taste makers, emphasizing high-quality ingredients and an exceptional eating experience. From our brick oven crust to whole milk mozzarella and vine-ripened Italian tomatoes, each pizza is crafted to offer a sensorial journey beyond mere function," explains Creveling. "At the heart of our brand philosophy is the belief in 'delicious food for joyful living.' We maintain strict brand guardrails and high standards for ourselves and our suppliers, ensuring that each product we offer is not only delicious but also made with high quality ingredients."

Consumers are increasingly aware of the nutritional benefits of frozen foods. Contrary to the long-held belief that frozen foods are less nutritious than fresh ones, the truth is more nuanced. Fruits and vegetables, when frozen at the peak of their ripeness, retain their flavor and nutrients effectively. This freezing process acts as a natural preservative, ensuring that vitamins and minerals are maintained, thus preserving the food's nutritional integrity. In comparison, fresh produce often loses these valuable nutrients over time due to factors like transportation and storage.

Artisanal Italian Flavors in a Frozen Format

 

As reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, employment and household composition significantly influence food consumption patterns. Working adults, especially in households where all adults work, tend to buy less ready-to-eat grocery store food (12% less) and more from full-service restaurants (72% more) due to limited time from work and commuting. Households with children lean towards fast food (19% more) owing to convenience and children's preferences, but less towards full-service restaurants (38% less). This shift in consumer behavior towards convenience and time-saving options suggests the ready-to-eat food industry could see significant growth as they cater to the needs of these busy households seeking nutritious, tasty and quick meal solutions.

In this growing market, Rao's Homemade® has introduced its frozen pizza with a premium focus. Rao's Homemade® is renowned for its artisanal Italian products, including its legendary tomato sauce. The introduction of the brand’s brick-oven-crust pizza aligns with the brand's commitment to quality and taste. The offering features sauce made from vine-ripened Italian tomatoes, sautéed garlic and onions and fresh basil. These delicious, quality pizzas are available in five varieties: Five Cheese, Uncured Pepperoni, Meat Trio, Fire Roasted Vegetable, and new Supreme.

The increasing popularity of frozen foods reflects a shift in consumer attitudes towards convenience, health and quality. Brands like Rao's Homemade® are at the forefront of this change, offering products that cater to the evolving demands of today's consumers. "Our commitment extends to making pizzas that families can be proud to serve, creating great memories around the dinner table. We aim to make our pizzas a staple in homes, delivering the same quality and joy one would expect from a family recipe, says Creveling. By marrying the artisanal charm of Italian cuisine with the practicality of frozen food, Rao’s Made For Home® frozen pizza stands as a testament to the potential of frozen foods in the modern culinary landscape.

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