Americans love smoothies. Sales of frozen fruit have more than doubled since 2011, and broke $1B in 2014. (Simultaneously, sales of blenders also topped $1B).
Frozen fruit companies, including Dole, have changed product packaging to make it more appealing to consumers. Stand-up packages have replaced bags, making the products easier to find on freezer shelves. There are also some different fruit mixes available, and the names and labels are more descriptive. (An example: Dole’s “Wildly Nutritious Mixed Berries.”)
Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Nassauer told NPR The Salt how consumer perceptions of frozen fruit have changed over the years:
“Back in 2006, Nassauer says, “People saw it more as a dessert topping. It was near whipped toppings in the frozen food aisle. And it was in these sort of hard-to-find lie-flat bags that were what frozen fruit was in for decades.”
But Dole thought, here’s this inherently healthy food — there has to be a bigger market out there.
“So they very intentionally said, ‘Let’s put it in these stand-up bags, put shiny graphics on it, suggest healthy recipes like smoothies on the back of the bag,’ ” Nassauer says. “And that was definitely their approach.”
A dietary trend that is driving the consumption of frozen fruit is, of course, the emergence of smoothies as a popular food in American life.
“In 2014, they estimate that 60 percent of frozen fruit purchased went into smoothies,” Nassauer says. “And that number was 21 percent in 2006.”