Frozen food frenzy at Trader Joe’s

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Frozen foods are a $65 billion category, one that’s up 21% from a year ago, according to a recent study from the American Frozen Food Institute and FMI — the Food Industry Association. At Trader Joe’s, the discounter has always introduced popular, exclusive meals such as its customer favorite Mandarin Orange Chicken, and it said during its latest podcast that it’s seeing tremendous growth in the category as of late.

The retailer said in appetizers, the category has seen double-digit growth. The latest epsiode of its "Inside Trader Joe's" podcast was dedicated to the freezer section, discussing the most popular items as well as items to come this month like Breaded Fried Ravioli.

Some favorites doing well now, mentioned in the podcast, are the company’s Mac and Cheese Bites, Samosas and Buffalo Chicken Poppers.

Work-from-home trends seemed to be the thinking behind some of the increased sales, as well as an increase in consumers using air fryers at home.

The podcast did mention Trader Joe’s gnocchi and pasta meals as being popular items, and additionally, the retailer posted a recent blog item on what are the best Charles Shaw wines to pair with its gnocchi dishes.

For example, the retailer suggested its Gnocchi al Gorgonzola (16 ounces for $3.29), goes well with the Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon (750mL for $2.99). The wine, affectionately referred to as Two-Buck Chuck by the Trader Joe’s faithful, is said to have a deep, ruby-colored wine with aromatics of blackberry and vanilla that fits the rich, cheesy pasta.

The blog also highlighted its healthier Cauliflower Gnocchi and Kale Gnocchi to be paired with Charles Shaw white wines, and the post had further recipe ideas and more pairings.