Consumers Looking To Food Inc. For Fresh Food?

Posted by: David Kiley on June 12, 2009

According to a report released this week by Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods, North American consumers have put “providing fresh ingredients” as the top thing they are looking for from food companies.

This was the top ranked response the firm asked respondents to a survey what the one area should be that food companies focus on most when developing new products. Twenty-six percent chose it from a menu of options, putting it ahead of “providing additional health benefits” (24 percent) and “making the packaging more environmentally friendly (21 percent).

It’s a bit puzzling, though, why consumers would assume a “food company” was the place to get “fresh ingredients.” I mean, are people really looking to Kraft, Conagra and Campbell Soup for “fresh.” Ever hear of a farmer’s market? Or even the produce section of your grocery store?

Few picked “improving the taste” (14 percent) or “making the food quicker and easier to prepare” (6 percent).

Just 4 percent of the North American respondents chose “developing foods that are totally different from other foods on the market” (4 percent. Last ranked was “developing packaging that is more convenient to use.” I guess the companies have made it about as easy as they can without compromising package integrity. Anyone recall when York Peppermint Patties were packaged just in foil wrappers that were scrunched down around the candy? Yikes.

I hate surveys.

Reader Comments

David Mace

August 9, 2009 12:31 PM

Another interesting insight is that, increasingly, consumers equate freshness with health, picking it as the most important factor over appearance and other variables. So health is still important. Taste might have ranked low on the Ipsos survey because it is viewed as a given. As they say, if the dogs won't eat the dog food...

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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