For a long time freeze-dried fish food was a significant staple in the feeding regimen of aquarists from all levels and all corners of the hobby. From beginner freshwater, to cichlid tanks, saltwater and ponds. The freeze-dried fish foods were always viewed as a safe alternative to live fish foods that still delivered significant nutritional value along with a longer shelf life. However, recent trends is the fish food market at giving freeze-dried favorites a run for their money.
Frozen foods are proving to find a renaissance of late. While nothing new and something we have been seeing in the reef and saltwater hobby for years. Specialized and improved frozen foods like LRS Reef Frenzy or Rod’s Food and old staples like PE Mysis are standbys in the reefing food arsenal and is now spreading to different parts of the aquatic industry.
We ran across this interesting article in Pet Product News discussing the overall trend as retailers see shrinking shelf space taken up by freeze-dried foods and more frozen and canned items being carried in stores.
According to the story, most retailers reported sales gains from decent to exceptional in this category, and these increasingly are viewed as the new “premium” foods in the aquarium industry.
Why is this? Some see the frozen staples as old hat and are looking for improved nutrition and feeding response of the new specialized diets. Others look at the freeze-dried foods as lacking in nutritional value.
The internet age has cut into brick-and-mortar margins, however foods (particularly frozen) are a commodity of convenience that gives many LFS and local retailers an added edge over Internet operations where shipment costs and time in transit may outweigh the lower sticker price.
We have seen our fair share of new frozen foods and advances in production to create a healthier option that also showcased increased feeding responses, coloration and growth push the flake, pellet and freeze-dried options to the side.
What is your experience with freeze-dried and other traditional food staples in your feeding arsenal?