Freshness, It’s What’s for Dinner

By: Emily Wolter

The January 2013 issue of Food Technology (Did you read it?! highlights a very important trend of consumers that we in the industry need to be well aware of… Forty-four percent of consumers say that using “fresh” foods at dinnertime is very important. The term “fresh” is the second most desired food label term, being trumped only by “low price” thanks to the current economical hard times.  This is an important factor to keep in mind as companies (and future product developers like yourself!) consider line extensions and new products.

A fun fact that I gleaned from the article was that 83% of consumers claim to enjoy experimenting with new recipes. That is likely partly due to the growing craze of Pinterest, recipe sharing, and food blogs. Regardless, it’s an exciting trend and provides the opportunity to develop new products that make recipe experimentation more convenient for the consumer, while still appealing to their desire for “freshness”.

If you are interested in product development, think of your dream job. Now, let me ask you, how would you incorporate fresh ingredients into a new or existing product line for that company? 


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  1. Great article Emily! I can personally relate that having fresh and less expensive options are high priorities on my list, which sometimes means homemade versions of foods. My new projects have been making my own peanut butter and my own granola!

  2. I wonder what most consumers think that “fresh” on the label means. Uncooked or minimally processed? To me, it’s kind of like “natural”, a word that doesn’t really mean much. Do you know if any definition has been made?

  3. Great comment, Emily and I totally agree. I am not an expert on labeling by any means, but I believe fresh is just as vague as all natural, but unfortunately consumers are unaware of this.

  4. Hi guys, the FDA does in fact have definitions and regulations regarding use of the word “fresh”. I looked up “fresh” in 21CFR101, Food Labeling and it defines it as: (a) The term “fresh,” when used on the label or in labeling of a food in a manner that suggests or implies that the food is unprocessed, means that the food is in its raw state and has not been frozen or subjected to any form of thermal processing or any other form of preservation, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

  5. Awesome! I wonder how long it’ll be until “natural” gets a definition like that?

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