Millennials have been accused of killing everything from napkins to Applebee’s. But there’s one surprising industry they’re helping to revive–frozen food. According to a report in Bloomberg, for the first time in five years this market is growing, with annual U.S. frozen food sales now estimated at $53 billion.
So what’s to account for this recent uptick in the freezer aisle? Isn’t the generation that thrives on avocado toast supposed to have fancy-schmancy taste? Well, there are actually a lot of good reasons frozen food is thriving, and most of them have to do with our general lack of time, money, and energy. After all, frozen food is relatively affordable, convenient, and easy to portion, which accounts for lower food waste. Plus, it’s easy to cook.
“There’s been a lot made of the death of frozen,” Dewey Warner, an analyst at market researcher Euromonitor told Bloomberg. “The average millennial doesn’t have time to make a full meal with fresh meat and produce. More and more they’re seeing these products as viable options.”
Frozen produce in particular has experienced a renaissance of sorts, with sales jumping 4.5 percent in the last year to $3.03 billion. It’s a smart choice for health-conscious folks too, as frozen fruits and vegetables usually retain high nutrient content, since they’re often flash-frozen at peak freshness.
The plethora of vegetarian and vegan options is another reason for this boom. With a rise in awareness of the health and environmental benefits of plant-based diets and technological advancements in meat-replacements, more and more millennials are taking advantage of the spectrum of products in this arena.
And one other unlikely theory behind the sales rise: “Stranger Things!” Yes, everyone loves the Netflix show and as a result we’re all indulging in Eleven’s favorite food–Eggo Waffles. This might seem like a stretch, but Kellogg’s sales are up by the double digits after a four year slump. Hey, who are we to argue with a telekinetic child?