Frozen Food Packaging In The Microwave: How To Win With Convenience

In the packaging world (and on the retail shelf), convenience is still king. Microwavable frozen food packaging isn’t a new idea, but new innovations in pouch and bag design and high barrier film development have kept it on the cutting each of packaging technology. Here’s why microwavable frozen food packaging is here to stay, and how to keep your customers coming back to fill their carts.
Formerly frozen food after being microwaved

Microwavable Frozen Food Packaging Trends

Frozen food still makes up just over half of the microwavable packaging market[1], so there are plenty of gains to be made for frozen food manufacturers and distributors. Some of the main trends driving growth in microwavable frozen food packaging are:

  • Decreasing amount of time available to spend preparing food (due to lifestyle, work, and family demands, etc.)
  • More middle-class household income to spend on convenience food items
  • Technological advancements in both microwavable packaging and frozen food packaging

If you feel like you have less time than ever to prepare meals, you’re not alone: Michael Pollan, author of Cooked (the bestseller-turned-Netflix series), says that the average American only spends 27 minutes per day preparing food vs. 60 minutes in 1965. Some of this is because we’d admittedly rather watch celeb chefs put together beef bourguignon than do it ourselves, but a lot has to do with the increasing demands placed on our time by our careers, families, hobbies, and more.

Premiumization Of Microwavable Frozen Food Packaging

The good news is that microwave-ready frozen food is no longer seen as the last resort of budget-crunched bachelors. The premiumization trend which has taken over both people and pet food packaging extends to the formerly-humble microwave meal, taking both fresh and frozen food packaging to fancy new heights.

Steamable frozen vegetables in particular can make use of premium design features suggesting higher quality and nutritional value—an excellent feature for the overworked parent trying to save time and still feed their family nutritious meals. Compared to boiling, steaming frozen vegetables is a much more effective way to maintain nutritional content and good flavor.

Convenience Over Cost

Purchasers of convenience-oriented microwavable frozen food packaging are looking to save time and effort, but not necessarily money. Deloitte’s 2015 American Pantry Study concluded that 45% of consumers have decided to purchase a product primarily because it made it easier to prepare a meal. 35% of the same group also purchased a product because it had more convenient packaging. 86% of the group surveyed claimed they prefer convenient options that are also healthy, and 27% said they’d be willing to pay more for a product that is more convenient to use.

Finally, recent advancements in microwavable frozen food technology have added new shelf appeal to older product concepts. Many new products have built-in steam release vents made possible by laser micro-perfs without compromising the integrity of the package. Other package types can cook different food types traditionally requiring different cooking times in the same package, at the same time.

Learn More About Microwavable Frozen Food Packaging

Could convenient microwavable frozen food packaging help your brand stand out on the retail shelf? These trends are unlikely to diminish, meaning profits could continue to rise for those making use of innovative microwavable frozen food packaging. Emmerson Packaging’s MicroPack™ technology provides the freshness and convenience consumers demand while keeping costs low for producers and brokers—in most cases, no refitting or modifying of existing packaging equipment is needed.

Ready to learn more? Our Project Central team is waiting to talk to you about your microwavable frozen food packaging options. Click here to chat with them today!

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