A new study from Culinary Visions explores consumer perspectives on the intersection between fresh and fast when purchasing grab-and-go foods. The study, called the Fresh Perspectives Study, identifies five things operators should know about consumers’ cravings for fresh, convenient food they can eat on the go.
“Modern consumers’ lives are getting faster, and they expect their fuel to be able to keep up,” says Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions. “We found that many consumers are struggling to strike a balance between fresh versus fast, healthful versus convenient and global versus local. Fortunately, the food industry has picked up their pace, meaning consumers won’t have to compromise-or slow down,” she added.
Here are key takeaways from the study regarding grab-and-go foods:
The study finds that younger consumers are the most interested in grab-and-go foods, consistently expressing the most interest in concepts across the convenience, deli, prepared foods and foodservice markets.
About 68% of consumers ages 18-34 said that they were likely to purchase grab-and-go sandwiches from a deli, compared to 57% of consumers ages 35-54 and 44% of those ages 55 and older. And when it comes to grabbing a quick bite from a convenience store, the division between age groups grows even wider.
An overwhelming 85% of consumers report that transparent packaging is important when it comes to defining fresh food. But the healthfulness of the ingredients might not matter to consumers as much as the fact food inside that packaging is fresh.
When it comes to choosing between healthfulness and indulgence, consumers were split. About 48% of consumers agree that when it comes to snacking on the go, they don’t care about healthfulness. Fresh may be important, but the study reveals that consumers do not necessarily view fresh and healthfulness as one and the same thing.