How Hungry-Man's supersized frozen meals are defying every industry trend

Ashley Lutz

Modern consumers are moving away from frozen processed foods and seeking healthier options.

The trend is threatening big food brands from Kellogg to McDonald's.

But sales of Hungry-Man are soaring, reports Rob Wile at Fusion.

The frozen brand is notorious for its huge, unhealthy portions.

For instance, the Classic Fried Chicken meal includes breaded chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and a brownie. The meal is packed with sodium and saturated fat and has 970 calories — about half the healthy number for the entire day.

Other popular meals include pulled pork, "Chicken Wyngz," chicken and waffles, and boneless pork ribs.

"On all the conversations that we have about health and wellness and positioning for the future and millennials, it frequently gets pointed out as a brand that seems to be out of sync with the times," Bob Gangort, CEO of Hungry-Man parent company Pinnacle Foods, said on a recent earnings call.

Frozen foods are difficult to sell right now. Sales of Nestle Lean Cuisines have dropped by more than 25% in the past five years, Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg reports.

Meanwhile, Hungry Man's sales were up 4%-6% last year.

The brand's CEO said it understands the customer who loves the brand: young men who want big portions and aren't concerned with being healthy.

"The demographic is a guy who works long hours, and when they get home they really want to eat right away," company executive Maria Sceppaguerico told Fusion.

Hungry-Man embraces its big portions, using the slogan "Eat Like a Man."

Many fast-food companies are testing the unapologetic approach to marketing.

In a recent McDonald's Big Mac ad, the company shows mouth-watering views of its signature burger.

McDonald's emphasizes that the Big Mac is "not Greek yogurt" and "will never be kale."

The unapologetic approach has also been effective for Arby's, which adopted the slogan "We've Got the Meats" in a series of humorous ads.

Arby's sales grew nearly 6% in 2014.

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