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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fresh Trumps Frozen in Survey


Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Retailer, a trade magazine that covers frozen foods, recently posted a short piece on its website about a survey by that compared fresh ingredients to frozen:

The survey asked the question: When it comes to purchasing groceries, which of the following are you more likely to do this year than last? The largest responding group, 57%, said that they were more likely to purchase fresh ingredients rather than frozen because they are healthier. In addition, 53% said they would purchase fresh ingredients because instead of frozen because they taste better.

Respondents also weighed in that they would purchase in bulk when items go on sale to save money, with 47% saying so; purchase more organic/natural items, because they are healthier, 29%; and purchase more canned items because they last longer without spoiling, 28%.

Providing some small consolation to chill product retailers and manufacturers, 20% of respondents said they would purchase some frozen prepared meals because they are more convenient.

Women with children were slightly more likely than singles to think fresh tastes better than frozen, but they were considerably more likely than singles, 26% to 18%, to favor frozen food’s convenience.

Total sample size for the study was 1,417 respondents with 816 coming from a pop-up survey on the site. A total of 601 came from a consumer panel operates.

TFFG Says: Well, yeah, shoppers are always are going to say that they prefer fresh over frozen. That’s like asking if you think the sun will come up tomorrow. A better survey question would have been: Are you more likely to spend 15 minutes in the supermarket hunting down on all the ingredients for lasagna—several kinds of cheeses, a very specific type of pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce, etc.—and then go home and spend up to four hours actually using all these ingredients to prepare and then bake the lasagna OR would you reach into the freezer case and pull out a name brand (say, Stouffer’s) family-size lasagna and take that home, heat it up and serve to your family? My guess is that 80% would vote for the latter, unless it’s in an Italian area. Of course, people tend to respond in something of a “wish state” when they respond to these surveys….something along the lines of what they would like to do rather than what they really do.

Fact is, if shoppers REALLY had such a low opinion of frozen foods, they would not be buying them, and ipso facto, there would be NO frozen foods sections in the supermarkets. But there are and many of them are pretty extensive, so the reality is that people are somewhat in denial about the fact that they actually purchase and consume frozen foods.

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