According to Deloitte research on consumer fresh food purchasing trends, frozen products are gaining an advantage in the food fight to capture growth in at-home consumption.
“Consumers are worried the fresh food on store shelves isn’t as fresh as it used to be,” the researchers said, noting that “60% say the time between buying and spoiling has gotten shorter recently. Meanwhile, three in four consumers say storing frozen food is convenient.”
For 90% of consumers, price continues to be the top purchase driver for fresh food. The combination of recent inflation and the perception that frozen food costs less (held by 62% of consumers), is attracting more consumers to frozen alternatives
The study also found that frozen is perceived to be just as good or even better than fresh by a majority of younger consumers, driven in part by changes in the versatility, quality and healthfulness of frozen substitutes.
“Suppliers and retailers should also consider leaning into the opportunity in frozen by expanding their product offerings and reimagining the frozen aisle to create excitement and even more growth,” observed Barb Renner, Deloitte vice chairman and U.S. consumer products leader.
Consumers are thinking about fresh food perishability at the store and at home, the researchers found. Environmental concerns also have had an impact on consumer attitudes.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of consumers revealed that they think about how much food they throw away when they are making a purchase decision. In addition, nearly half of consumers (45%) indicated that more of the fresh food in their home ends up going to waste than it did in the past.