Survey: Frozen food is recession proof

By

Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris

Published on
April 19, 2009

Frozen seafood processors are encouraged by data from the United Kingdom's Food and Drink Federation (FDF) that suggest consumers are turning to frozen food as they seek value during the economic downturn.
 
Research collated for the FDF's frozen food group found that nearly half  (49 percent) of the 500 consumers polled believe frozen food will help them get through the economic uncertainty.
 
According to the survey, conducted by Insight Track, 70 percent of consumers "understand the main tangible benefits of frozen food," which are that it minimizes waste and the need to shop more often.
 
"Consumers appreciate that there is less waste with frozen food and, in fact, over two-thirds (67 percent) choose frozen food because it minimizes food waste. Less waste means that money is saved, which is obviously of concern to people in these tough times," said Norman Soutar, chairman of the FDF's frozen food group and managing director of William Jackson Food Group Ltd.
 
But the appeal of frozen food stretches far beyond the value reducing waste: quality, storage and convenience were all highlighted in the survey as key factors behind consumers' decision to buy frozen foods.
 
And as an indication that efforts by the industry to bring innovative value-added products to the frozen aisles are paying off, 73 percent of consumers believe frozen food "offers a good range of premium products."
 
"Consumers also find frozen food convenient to use, with good nutritional value, which is good news for manufacturers and retailers alike as the industry responds to changing consumer needs with innovative NPD and marketing campaigns," said Soutar.
 
He added that the UK frozen food industry saw "good sales growth last year," with the pace expected to continue into 2009.

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