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Deep Freeze

Don't let the name fool you. Frozen foods are hot.

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This story appears in the September 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Clarence Birdseye must have known what he was doing when he first conceptualized pre-packaged, frozen foods more than 60 years ago. Somehow, the budding entrepreneur, who back then patented several of his food-freezing ideas, clued in to the fact that Americans love a home-cooked meal--but they also love popping something in the microwave and kicking off their shoes while dinner is "served." Yes, The Birdseye Frosted Food Co. was destined for success even before microwaves became second nature.

Through the years, other entrepreneurs have followed suit and helped build a behemoth industry that now gathers $60 billion in annual retail and food-service sales. And while most of those sales derive from the Fortune 500s, there's still plenty of room for entrepreneurs to step up to the frozen-food plate.

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