Frozen food products have enjoyed newfound appeal in the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is likely to continue into the new year.
As restaurant operations have closed, reopened and then face restrictions anew amid virus surges, operators have found frozen products last much longer and reduce waste as they cope with the yo-yoing of their operations.
And while ghost kitchens and smaller operators find stability in frozen products, from proteins to vegetables, larger-scale companies have taken notice.
“We use fresh — rarely frozen — wings,” said Charlie Morrison, CEO and chairman of Dallas-based Wingstop Inc., on a November earnings call. “Only during certain cyclical times of the year will we bring those in. “
"The impact it’s having on us,” he said, “is more about what it does to the price of chicken wings because many of these new and/or emerging competitors or folks that have sold them before are really buying up all the frozen product that’s in the market.”
Expect to see more long-term storage items on all menus.
– Ron Ruggless