Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. To learn more, visit www.packagedfacts.com.
Search This Blog
Monday, October 1, 2012
"Frozen at the peak of freshness" cuts both ways
According to our August 2012 national online survey, preference for fresh foods is the top reason (57%) surveyed consumers cite for not buying frozen foods in the last three months, followed by a preference for home-cooked foods (35%). Fewer than one in five shoppers say they have not bought frozen foods because they don’t like the taste, don’t have enough freezer space at home, are not confident in frozen foods’ nutrition, or are not confident in frozen foods’ quality (a concern that is, nonetheless, notably more prevalent among women).
Although “fresh” would seem to be an oxymoron in frozen foods, frozen food marketers are increasingly promoting their foods by squaring off against fresh foods head on. The goal is to convince consumers that they do not have to sacrifice taste, quality, or nutrition by taking advantage of the convenience of frozen foods.One direct example of this effort to move the needle on consumer attitudes is in the name of one of the top regional frozen vegetable marketers, Fresh Frozen Foods. The company’s website (www.freshfrozenfoods.com) emphasizes that “Studies consistently reveal that frozen produce is as nutritious, and in some cases even more nutritious, than fresh produce.”It references the FDA’s conclusion that the nutritional value of frozen fruits and vegetables is the same or better than that of their raw counterparts, and the University of Illinois research study by Dr. Barbara Klein, a professor of food and nutrition, which found that frozen vegetables can have equal, or higher, nutritional value when compared to fresh vegetables.
Likewise, Pinnacle Foods has worked “fresh” into the Birds Eye product line, with its Birds Eye Steamfresh line of steamable vegetables and side dishes. And when ConAgra debuted its line of Healthy Choice Steaming Entrees, it promoted the launch with the tag line, “Healthy Choice has nothing to hide with its new line of fresh-tasting frozen entrees.”The entrees boast a clear plastic tray that enables consumers to see the ingredients and “the vivid colors of the vegetables, which are frozen at the peak of freshness.”
Asserting frozen’s claim to the merits of freshness is part of a larger tug-of-war within grocery stores, where the traditional center store of shelf-stable and frozen foods must step up its game to compete against the refrigerated and bakery/deli/prepared food offerings that lure shoppers along the store perimeter, including hot foods bars and well as chilled ready meals.At the same time that frozen competes with fresh whole foods on convenience, it must compete with in-store fast food on quality and wholesomeness. Fortunately for the frozen food aisles, “frozen at the peak of freshness" cuts both ways.