America's appetite for fresh products is growing

Dive Brief:

  • A survey by The OpinionWay institute for Bizerba and Invatron shows almost half of Americans (48%) consume more fresh products today — including fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses — than three years ago.
  • Of the 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed, 41% said their preference for fresh products is driven by a desire for a healthier lifestyle and diet.
  • Age and income are big influences on this trend. The survey shows those under the age of 35 are more likely to choose fresh items than people 50 and older — 58% of younger consumers vs. 38% of the older ones. Only 45% of consumers making less than $50,000 a year said their consumption of fresh products had increased, opposed to 53% of people making more than $75,000 annually.

Dive Insight:

Americans are more conscious than ever of the benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed foods and making healthier choices for their families.

Fresh products are often more costly than others, but consumers seem willing to pay more to eat healthier. This is likely because, as the survey showed, many consumers strongly associate fresh foods with higher quality and better flavors. 

This trend toward fresh eating is also paired with an increase in at-home cooking. Manufacturers can do things like using labeling information and recipes online to help steer consumers toward using their fresher products.

Manufacturers have already started to reformulate their products with healthier ingredients and highlight those changes in marketing campaigns and on social media sites. For example, Campbell's new Garden Fresh brand will offer soups in the refrigerated deli section of the grocery store. Still, many brands struggle to overcome consumer perceptions about past, less healthy offerings.

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Filed Under: Manufacturing Ingredients
Top image credit: Mother Earth News, ANDREW UNANGST/FOTOLIA