It may have taken a global pandemic, but the percentage of Americans who prepare frozen entrees at least once a week has reached its tipping point, with over half of Americans now trying to determine if two or three fork punctures produces the optimal amount of venting.

Over the course of the last 30 days – as lockdowns across America started to ease – 55% of Americans were turning to the freezer for at least one meal a week.

When it comes to frequency, the more concerned someone is about the coronavirus, the more frozen entrees they’ll consume. In fact, people who are afraid of getting the virus report eating frozen entrees at least three times a week, a 66% higher rate than Americans who aren’t afraid of catching – or spreading – the disease.

But interestingly, people who are eating frozen entrees most often – three or more times per week –  are also saying they’re ready to walk into a restaurant right now.  

A potential reason for the above? While the coronavirus has clearly been the root cause for the spike in frozen entree sales, the ease of making a frozen entree has long been a main selling point. In fact, people who take a dim view of cooking are 22% more likely to eat a frozen entree at least once a week. 

What’s further interesting: When looking at data from January of this year, right before the coronavirus struck our shores, people who had a favorable view of cooking were only slightly less likely to make a frozen entree at least once a week as compared to pandemic cooking. But people who have an unfavorable view of the sauté pan? They pretty much gave up, with a 14% jump in ‘at least once a week’ frozen entree meals.

Looking at a few other recent trends in CPGs and canned goods, the last month shows nearly 4 in 10 Americans eat packaged meals or sides “several times a month or more.”

Fifty-six percent of Americans say they eat canned goods at least several times a month. And over 7 in 10 Americans eat packaged snacks several times a month or more. And of that contingent, almost 40% say salty snacks are consumed most often, with sweet snacks coming in at 28%.

Overall, frozen entrees have been a big winner during the coronavirus crisis. CivicScience will clearly be watching this trend, as well as consumer sentiment towards other packaged foods, over the next few months. As lockdowns ease and Americans try to resume their normal lives, will frozen entrees hang on to its gains? Time – or in this case, four minutes, stir, recover, cook for three additional minutes – will tell.