Fried foods still craved by consumers as “impulse” takes over

Posted by Isobel Drake on 1st May 2009

Health and wellness may be on the top-of-mind for consumers, but a new study finds that there has not been a significant migration away from fried foods.

According to the new Future of Fried Foods Study from American foodservice consultants Technomic , the billions of fried food servings ordered each year are driven by value, ‘craveability’ and broad appeal. Their latest consumer survey shows that the top consumer associations with fried foods include:

• 89% – “tasty”
• 86% – “satisfying”
• 83% – “filling”
• 80% – “something I crave”
• 77% – “comforting”
• 71% – “good value”

Despite the fact that more than half of the consumers in Technomic’s survey describe themselves as “Fried Food Curtailers” or “Fried Food Avoiders”, the study predicts that, over the next three years, the growth rate of fried foods will decline, but will not differ substantially from that of the foodservice industry as a whole. Other findings from the study that indicate fried foods will hold their own include:

• Impulse is a major driver of fried food sales. About one in five consumers (21 per cent) say that their purchases of fried food at restaurants are usually made on impulse.
• About one-third of respondents (32 per cent) like to order fried foods at restaurants because they do not normally prepare them at home.

“We don’t foresee a large drop in fried food sales because they are widely available and are frequently bundled with value meal purchases,” Bob Goldin, Executive Vice President at Technomic, explained. “Fried foods are offered at a reasonable price point that has strong appeal across multiple consumer groups. The crispy texture and craveable flavour is something that they cannot duplicate at home.”