Consumers dissatisfied with frozen meal portions

by Staff
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CHICAGO — Consumers are not eating frozen foods according to the portion size listed on food labels, a new report from The NPD Group found.

The report, “Frozen meals stay hot! Where are your opportunities?,” found one in three family or party-size frozen meals that are labeled to have four or more servings are eaten by only one or two consumers. In addition, more than one-fourth of frozen-meal consumers who eat from a package labeled for two or three servings consume the frozen meal on their own.

“There is a disconnect between the stated serving size on a frozen meal package and what an individual is consuming,” said Darren Seifer, an analyst with NPD. “As it is now, for one-quarter to one-third of frozen-meal consumers, the labeled packaged serving size is more of a guideline to the frozen meal user than an actual serving size.”

The report found males, younger users and even non-users are not satisfied with the current portion size in frozen meals and want larger portions. Single-serve frozen meals account for two out of three frozen meals eaten and are popular as a work lunch for young females and for seniors who eat them at home.

“Consumers continue to seek out quick and convenient meal options, and frozen meals are the answer,” Mr. Seifer said. “It’s important for manufacturers and retailers to understand that various generational and demographic groups perceive frozen meals differently and then respond to these variant needs with the right products, flavors and marketing message.”

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