According to the market research firm IRI Worldwide, people are buying more frozen food. The COVID-19 pandemic has put people under stress, and while they are concerned about their health, they also worry about reducing their expenses and want affordable comfort foods that do not require much preparation. IRI Worldwide found that in April 2020, spending on frozen food had risen 31 percent over that in 2019, and purchases of packaged food increased by 21 percent.
This is no surprise, says Dr. Alison Mitzner, an expert on family wellness, who noted that stress often leads to emotional eating and that stress increases hormones that result in cravings for sugar, salt, and fatty foods. Stress also makes people crave comfort foods they associate with positive memories like holidays. In 2015, a Harris Poll found that 67 percent of Americans turned to comfort food as a “pick-me-up,” favoring pizza, chocolate, ice cream, and mac-and-cheese as their top choices. Mitzner cautions, however, that while it is normal to want unhealthier comfort foods during stressful times, moderation is key, and such eating should not become a way to handle emotions in general.
That said, CNN made a list of the top 18 frozen foods Americans are craving right now, and high on the list are the Jamaican Style Mild Beef Patties offered by Caribbean Frozen Foods. The combination of jerk spices and the patty’s flaky crust offers the ultimate in comfort food, and they are ready to eat after cooking for just two minutes in a microwave.
Other frozen foods listed by CNN include CLASSICS Party Size Lasagna with Meat & Sauce, Tyson All Natural Crispy Frozen Chicken Strips, Ore-Ida Golden Tater Tots, Bertolli Frozen Chicken Florentine & Farfalle, El Monterey Shredded Steak and Three-Cheese Burritos, Mrs. T’s Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies, Mrs. Paul’s Xtra Large Crunchy Fish Sticks, Totino’s Pepperoni Pizza Rolls, T.G.I. Fridays Cheddar & Bacon Loaded Potato Skins, Mrs. Budd’s Shepherd’s Pie, Hot Pockets Garlic Buttery Crust Pepperoni Pizza Sandwiches , and Devour Buffalo Frozen Chicken Mac & Cheese.