NFRA: Dinner at Home Still Norm, as Quality Meals Evolve

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-headquartered National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) recently surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to better understand their modern definition of quality meals. From delicious dinners spent around the table to serving well-balanced and budget-friendly meals, the way Americans idealize a quality meal is not always in line with how one eats day to day.

The dinner table dynamic revealed by the survey indicated that 91% of respondents report they regularly eat dinner at home, with more than half of this group still sitting down for meals around the dining table. While this may seem like a nod to the nostalgia of decades past with the family gathering together at the end of the day, 60% are spending only 10 minutes or less consuming food at the table.

GreenGiantSpaghetti 250Consumers can give spaghetti and other routine dinners prepared at home a makeover with Green Giant frozen vegetables.No word on the percentage multitasking with cell phones, tablets or laptop computers while eating. Perhaps that will be the subject of a future survey.

Flavor is the key to quality, said 75% of respondents, but it's not always feasible for home cooks when preparing convenient meals that are guaranteed to please taste buds. That’s where frozen foods figure in a significant way.

“The frozen food aisle of the supermarket is the destination for real ingredients, chef-inspired recipes, fresh flavors and wholesome meal ideas to bring quality meals to life,” said Julie Henderson, the NFRA’s communications vice president.

She pointed out how some of the leading brands behind America's favorite frozen foods deliver quality meals to tables nationwide. For example:

  • StouffersLasagna 250Top quality ingredients including hand-layered pasta, real cheese and tasty tomatoes for marinara sauce go into making Stouffer’s Lasagna.Inside Stouffer's famous red box is a hand-layered lasagna. Inside the Nestlé kitchens, their lasagna noodles are made from scratch using quality semolina, then carefully cooked and finally layered by hand with cheese and sauce into the pan. In fact, all of Nestlé's frozen products are made the way consumers would prepare meals at home, just on a larger scale.
  • Tyson Foods works with its culinary experts and executive chefs to develop restaurant-quality food for “takeout” from the freezer aisle. The result is that customers are provided with solutions needed to create a quality restaurant experience in their own kitchens.
  • Pinnacle Foods’ stringent procurement requirements allows brands like Van de Kamp's and Mrs. Paul's to assure customers that 100% of the whole fish fillets it brings from the sea to the table is subtainably sourced.
  • A recent survey conducted separately by Green Giant revealed four out of five parents agreeed that dinner is incomplete without a vegetable. Its Steamers range features 25 steam-in-the-bag varieties to get vegetables on the table in a matter of minutes.

These companies and many more will be represented at the 2014 National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention, October 11-14 in Orlando, Florida. Following the annual gathering, NFRA's Easy Home Meals blog will showcase some of the foods and flavors on the horizon for the year ahead.

About the Suveys
The NFRA survey was conducted online with a random sample of 1,007 men and women – all members of the Impulse Research proprietary online panel. The panel was carefully selected to closely match US population demographics, and the respondents were representative of American men and women aged 18 and above. Research was conducted in August of 2014. The overall sampling error rate for the survey is plus or minus 3% at the 95% rate of confidence.

The 2014 Fresh Takes with Green Giant Frozen Survey presents the findings of an online sampliing conducted by ORC International from August 5-8, 2014, among a group of 986 American parents of children under the age of 18, comprising 487 men and 499 women.