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Collaboration could be way forward for frozen

By Rod Addy , 03-Sep-2007

Frozen food manufacturers could boost their growth by working collaboratively with big brands not yet in the sector, according to research group Leatherhead Food International (LFI).

A report just published by LFI indicates that consumers would be more willing to buy frozen food products if they were produced under a trusted brand.

Nicole Patterson, principal consumer analyst behind the paper, called What are the consumer drivers and current perceptions of chilled and frozen food, said the findings showed there might be opportunities for cross-category collaboration.

The study was based on a survey of four sample groups, two in the north of england and two in the south, composed of a mixture of social classes, ages, geographical and family backgrounds. It highlighted continuing “stigma associated with frozen food”, said Patterson. “People didn’t want to admit they bought it,” she added.

The indications were that products in the category were still seen as somehow less healthy than chilled food. In addition, the terms ‘fresh’ and ‘frozen’ were broadly misconceived as polar opposites. “There was also an assumption that it was better to freeze fresh or chilled products than to buy frozen,” said Patterson.

“The northern groups were more open to be educated about frozen food and were able to come up with more benefits for frozen food.”

LFI intends the report to be the first of many trade papers, addressing different topics. Others could include the food miles versus the fair trade debate and the influence of celebrity chefs.

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