Frozen Fruits and Vegetables: Supporting Produce Consumption

A library of research points to the significant health benefits of produce consumption, yet, only one in ten Americans report eating the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables, with only half of children one to five eating a single vegetable daily.  

Unfortunately, low-income households report even lower consumption, and food security is also a severe issue in the US, with 32 million children and adults who are food insecure. The most common obstacle for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants is access to a nutritious diet. Frozen fruits and vegetables can help address this barrier to nutrition.  

Continue reading to learn how frozen fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice that can play a crucial role in promoting and supporting overall produce consumption. 

5 Ways Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Support Produce Consumption 

Nutritional Equivalence 

Contrary to popular belief, frozen fruits and vegetables do not have inferior nutritional value to their fresh counterparts. Instead, studies have shown that frozen produce can be nutritionally equivalent or even superior to fresh. 

The freshness of fruits and vegetables depends on the time elapsed since harvest. In other words, the longer the duration, the more nutrients are lost. On the other hand, frozen produce, typically flash-frozen immediately after harvest, retains its nutritional content, providing consumers with high-quality, nutrient-rich options. 

Availability and Accessibility 

Frozen fruits and vegetables offer year-round availability and convenience to consumers. Accessibility is a crucial factor in supporting produce consumption. The abundance of frozen fruits and vegetables lifts the limitations of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables or constraints by geographical limitations. The accessibility and affordability can encourage more frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, helping Americans meet the dietary guidelines. 


Frozen fruits and vegetables are often more cost-effective than fresh produce, making them an attractive option for consumers, particularly those on a budget. The longer shelf-life also means fewer shopping trips, saving consumers time and money. 

Reduction of Food Waste 

It’s estimated that 30% to 40% of the food supply is wasted in the US. A considerable portion of the waste is fresh produce that spoils before consumption. In contrast, the freezing process extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, allowing consumers only to use what they need. Frozen fruits and vegetables can help mitigate food waste. 

Versatility in Meal Preparation 

The versatility of frozen fruits and vegetables — from smoothies and baking to stir-fries and soups — is undeniable. In addition, their readiness for use significantly reduces preparation time, promoting increased produce consumption in everyday meals. 

Closing the Produce Consumption Gap 

On behalf of our members providing Americans with nutritious frozen fruits and vegetables for families in need, AFFI is working to ensure frozen food is part of the solution. For example, we are working toward commonsense public policy to help low-income households in the U.S. by expanding access to fruits and vegetables by advocating for the Supporting All Healthy Options When Purchasing Produce (SHOPP) Act. 

The Bottom Line 

With their abundant nutrients, year-round availability, affordability, and role in reducing food waste, frozen fruits and vegetables represent an often overlooked resource in promoting produce consumption. Integrating frozen produce can help bridge the gap between recommended and actual fruit and vegetable consumption, helping millions of Americans reap the health benefits that come with a produce-rich diet. Learn more at Frozen Advantage.