Focus on frozen

Frozen fruit and veg are as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, says new research funded by, ahem, the Frozen Food Foundation.

Well, no surprises there. Frozen brands, manufacturers and retailers have long hailed the nutritional properties of their produce, in some cases arguing it’s fresher than fresh. As the FFF attests, levels of vitamin A, C and folates are, in some cases, greater than in fresh produce owing to the “nutrient degradation that occurs in fresh produce during storage”.

Great, but just because it’s as good as fresh doesn’t mean consumers believe that. Frozen food, after all, still suffers from a major image problem, particularly when it comes to younger generations.

Things are moving in the right direction, though, as we reveal in our brand new online series ‘What shoppers really think about…’ We’re kicking things off by quizzing 2,000 Brits on their attitudes to frozen food and there are some interesting results.

For example, over the past year alone there’s been a significant improvement in the number of Brits who think frozen is on a par with fresh. A seven percentage point improvement to be precise, up from 53% to 60%.

While it’s clear that it’s going to take a lot to persuade those under 35 that frozen is as good as fresh, older Brits are already convinced. To make further inroads, the sector now has to, as Malcolm Walker would put it, capture those “stupid middle-class people” who still think chilled is better.

Iceland is making headway thanks to its Power of Frozen campaign and the posh outlet in Clapham Common, while Young’s and Birds Eye are touting frozen’s fancy credentials with the likes of Gastro and Inspirations. So successful has Iceland’s campaign proved, our survey even shows its ads have made 17% of people appreciate frozen foods’ quality more. Sweet.

The industry can’t rest on its laurels, though – there’s still plenty of work to be done in communicating the message, whether it be through campaigns, NPD or a complete rethink of the way frozen is merchandised to see it directly compete with the likes of fresh. We tasked creative agency Path with just that. To see what that could look like, be sure to check out our new report here