As consumers return to a sense of normalcy, some pandemic shopping trends may be here to stay. Fresh food prices have gotten and are staying high right now, so many people are turning to aisles of the grocery store they may not normally shop in to find cheaper alternatives and options to make food last as long as possible.
The upward trend of frozen food consumption from 2020 continues strong into 2021, according to study findings by Deloitte released on Sept. 28. Researchers interviewed 2,000 grocery shoppers about their purchasing decisions in July 2021. Results found that frozen food sales are rising faster than fresh. While fresh saw only a 10% increase in sales since 2020, frozen sales grew by over double that.
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Why are people giving produce the cold shoulder? Consumers are worried the fresh food on store shelves isn’t as fresh as it used to be. Sixty percent say the fruits, veggies, and other items are spoiling faster recently.
However, people also aren’t stepping into stores as often as before. According to a Deloitte report from last year, stores saw a 50% drop in frequent in-store shoppers (those who make multiple grocery visits per week) from 2019 to 2020. These concerns about recent perishability are leading buyers toward spoil-resistant options that will last between grocery trips.
When it comes to preference, frozen boasts some advantages. Three in four consumers say keeping food in the freezer and expanding its life is more convenient. Over 50% also say they like frozen foods because they are frozen at their peak nutritional value.
Price still prevails as the most significant factor, say 9 in 10 respondents. As grocery shoppers know all too well, prices went up and are still up and 62% of the surveyed shoppers agree that frozen is cheaper than fresh and thus they are sold on the cold.
Still want to cook fresh while watching your wallet? Check out this new low-cost grocery chain. If you’re looking for healthy choices to stock your freezer with, here are some frozen foods dietitians recommend.
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Sarah Wong studied at Northwestern University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and experimented with mixing tech and journalism. She loves watching open mics, practicing yoga, and learning about nutrition. When she’s not at her day job, she enjoys contributing to Eat This, Not That! as a freelance writer.