Frozen Vegetables Key to Reducing Food Waste, AFFI Says

According to a recent poll referenced by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), frozen vegetables and fruits make it easier for a variety of households and demographic groups to increase produce intake and reduce food waste.

The study also included a detailed analysis of families that met the qualifications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Frozen fruits and vegetables, in the opinion of eight out of ten SNAP-eligible survey participants, make it easier to consume more produce, decrease food waste, and save money. These findings highlight the importance of frozen food in government feeding initiatives.

More than 1,500 consumers were surveyed, and 86% of them agreed that having frozen fruits and vegetables makes it easier to eat more food. 83% of respondents said that frozen fruits and vegetables help them to reduce food waste and save money because of the significant benefits of frozen, such as a longer shelf life and the ability to only prepare what you need. Additionally, 76% of respondents agreed that fruits and vegetables that are frozen encourage people to eat produce that they might not otherwise know how to prepare.

More than 25% of consumers now purchase more frozen fruits and vegetables than they did three years ago, and they are aware of the numerous health advantages of doing so.

“As the food industry and policymakers explore ways to improve nutrition and reduce hunger across the country, frozen foods must be part of the solution. Shoppers recognize that frozen fruits and vegetables offer an easy and convenient way to further include produce into their diet, all while stretching their dollar further thanks to the reduced waste,” according to AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor.

The ways that consumers include frozen food in their meals vary. 63% of all customers reported using frozen fruits and vegetables as a side to the main course, followed by 50% as a component in drinks and smoothies, and 44% as a garnish for pasta and rice dishes.

The vast majority of consumers also mentioned that they bought both fresh and frozen produce, and that when their fresh produce supply was running short, they turned to frozen fruits and vegetables to get them through until their next shopping trip. The majority of consumers include both fresh and frozen produce in their meal planning, according to AFFI’s Power of Frozen 2021 market research. Their conclusions are supported by this data.