Majority of shoppers confused about frozen foods

March 20, 2013

The SupermarketGuru panel weighs in on frozen foods.

Frozen foods often get a bad reputation, whether the aisle is too long and daunting, or the foods seem overly processed, many shoppers are not aware of the quality and variety of foods they can find in the freezer section. March is frozen food month, and we decided to ask our consumer panel what they really think about frozen foods.

When we asked our consumer panel how much they agree with the following statement, “When buying groceries, I find the frozen food aisle difficult to shop,” 61 percent disagree either “somewhat” or “strongly” while 30 percent of the consumer panel somewhat agree.

To a similar tune, the majority agreed (43 percent “strongly agree” and 41 percent “somewhat agree”) that, “With the right information and shopping experience, my attitudes about shopping the frozen food aisle could be improved.”

What are the top reasons for being discouraged from buying frozen foods? “Frozen foods are highly processed”, followed by, “frozen foods are expensive,” “frozen foods don’t taste good” and “too hard to see/read the ingredient labels” were the top four responses.

So what would attract shoppers to the frozen food aisle? “Learning more about what’s in the foods,” “better organization or labeling of location of foods in the freezer,” “knowing how frozen foods are made,” “separating allergy free options from the others,” “less sodium” and more.

Frozen foods are a great convenience, and with almost half of shoppers now eating meals by themselves, we are seeing a new focus on single serve meals. The majority, 52 percent, somewhat agreed that “frozen foods are highly processed” and 49 percent somewhat agreed that “frozen meals are fattening,” but the reality is that many of the frozen food offerings now use homemade pastas, blanched vegetables and replace sodium with red wine for that extra flavor.

Shoppers overall have a positive view of frozen foods, but clearly there is information about this category that needs to be addressed through marketing, education and the ever sampling.