The frozen food category appears to be under fire, with evidence of a shift in purchaser behaviour amongst Irish adults. Just over 1 in 5 adults (21%) claim they are purchasing less from the frozen food aisle than they were this time last year. New research conducted by Empathy Research, on behalf of Retail Intelligence, amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,008 adults sought to understand what has brought about this change in behaviour.
The drop in claimed purchase within the frozen food aisle is recorded across all age groups, suggesting this is a market-wide trend and not primarily focused on a specific age group or demographic. Examination of the key motivations for a reduction in the level of purchase from the frozen food aisle, reinforces a desire by consumers for more control and visibility as to the foods they are consuming, a trend seen previously in Retail Intelligence.
Almost 6 in 10 (59%) of those who have reduced purchase levels of frozen food have done so because they prefer to eat fresh food with half (50%) claiming they have done so in a desire to eat healthier foods. Just under 1 in 5 (19%) indicate that a reduction in the price of fresh food has made it more affordable for them to purchase, thus reducing their dependency on frozen food.
One of the key challenges for suppliers in this category must be to demonstrate the quality of the ingredients used in their product, in order to stave off any further reduction in purchase. Over 2 in 5 (43%) adults claim they are concerned about the quality of the ingredients in frozen food, peaking at just over half (54%) of those aged 25-34. This figure rises to 6 in 10 (60%) for those who have reduced their purchase frequency in the category in the past 12 months.
For more information and analysis relating to the frozen food category, including key categories for purchase and which categories consumers are most likely to avoid, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research.
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