America’s real top chef? The microwave. Thanks to a weakened economy, consumers’ yen for convenience, and superMARCHkets eager to expand their high-profit frozen-food aisles, more meals now hit the microwave than ever before: 23% of home dinners are frozen entrées, helping push the industry to $56 billion last year, up from $43 billion five years before. The good news? Analysts say we’re not (just) stuffing our face with Stouffer’s. Manufacturing breakthroughs, more ethnic options, and cutthroat competition for health-conscious diners mean better choices. Though we’re still stumped by the popularity of a frozen PB&J.
TUE, MARCH 01
National Frozen Food Month