Illinois State University researchers say a diet for weight loss, the volume of food is one of the factors of weight loss. Nutritious frozen convenience food consumption, as control of food volume method.
Frozen Food and the Microwave Carol Freeman, Vice President ICF Macro 2010 Food Safety Education Conference March 25, 2010 ICF Macro and USDA • Worked to develop consumer campaign strategies that: – focus on the importance of food safety messages – give consumers the knowledge and tools to change and maintain new food safety behaviors – move consumers from awareness to behavior change Current Issue Consumers aren’t following printed directions on Not Ready to Eat (NRTE) meals. Focus groups conducted in May, 2009 by FDA highlights critical issues: •Few respondents think that frozen entrees contain raw meat or chicken. “… usually, a TV dinner has got cooked food in it. You could eat it frozen if you wanted to.” Raleigh Focus Group Participant •Most thought the purpose of cooking instructions were to improve the quality of food. •Some people just don’t follow directions. “I had fish sticks. It was not for microwave. I still microwaved them.” Bethesda Focus Group Participant 3 Frozen Food & Microwave Food Safety • Microwave Working Group – Membership: Industry, USDA, FDA, the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), the International Food Information Council (IFIC), and the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) – Goal: assess what can be done to reduce the risk of foodborne illness as a result of consumers’ improper use of the microwave when preparing frozen foods. ICF Macro’s Task Determine consumer communications strategies to reduce improper preparation of not‐ready‐to‐eat (NRTE), frozen foods with microwave ovens. How to educate consumers and support and modify food safety behaviors: – Read and follow package instructions for cooking. – Know microwave wattage. – Use a food thermometer, as appropriate, to judge when food is safe. – Know when it is appropriate to use a microwave and when it is necessary to use a conventional oven. 5 Background Research – Interview industry stakeholders – Conduct a literature review/media analysis relative to three priority target audiences • Adolescents (Age 15‐18) • Young Adults (Age 19‐25) • Older Adults (Age 65+) – Provide recommendations for a communications outreach initiative Industry Perspective Preliminary Research • Eight in‐depth interviews with stakeholders – Food manufacturers, food retailers, microwave manufacturers, microwave retailers, and a consumer interest organization • Topics: main food safety issues, roles (government, stakeholders, consumers) key messages, target audiences, willingness to support a communications initiative, and recommendations Industry Perspective • What are the Main Issues to be Addressed? – Educate consumers—overcome misunderstandings and misconceptions – Encourage industry use of safer ingredients • Precooked vs. raw – Reduce microwave complexities • Fewer wattages (300‐2200 watts) • Ensure wattage output is accurate – Ensure cooking instructions are standardized, thorough, clear, consumer‐tested, and easy to understand • Include multiwattage directions Industry Perspective • What is Government’s Role? – Provide research that supports the need for an initiative – Catalyst for collaboration across stakeholders – Establish guidelines and common language • What is the Food Manufacturer’s Role? – Package food that is safe and ready to eat – Develop/test instructions that are clear and easy to follow – Support consumer education outreach • Address different microwave wattages Industry Perspective • What is the Food Retailer’s Role? – Support consumer education – Promote food safety in the community • Post shelf‐talkers • Host outreach events, in‐store nutritionists • What is the Microwave Manufacturer’s Role? – Prominently display wattage – Reduce the range of wattages/standardize output – Ensure wattage claim is accurate and consistent Industry Perspective • What is the Microwave Retailer’s Role? – Post signage and clearly label microwave wattages – Provide educational materials to consumers – Require manufacturers to apply prominent labels • What is the Consumer’s Role? – Take appropriate responsibility for food safety – Understand the importance of using microwaves to cook food safely (not just palatability) – Learn the difference between ready‐to‐eat (RTE) and not‐ ready‐to‐eat (NRTE) foods – Take time to read and follow directions Industry Perspective • Are these the right audiences for a campaign? (adolescents, young adults, and older adults ages 65+) – Adolescents and young adults • Most agreed • Several wanted to include key influencers (moms/caregivers) • Several wanted to lower the age to include preteens • Some disagreed because this age group is hard; won’t take the messages seriously – Older Adults, 65+ • Some disagreed because this age group tends to use conventional ovens more frequently • Some disagreed because this age group tends to follow directions Target Audience Research • Reviewed the literature (within the last 10 years) to gain lessons learned on how to communicate with the target audiences • Adolescents (Age 15‐18) • Young Adults (Age 19‐25) • Older Adults (Age 65+) – Sources • Scholarly databases • Web sites of government, corporate and media research, and non‐ government organizations • Social media and user‐generated sites • Media consumption research Adolescents (Age 15‐18) • Message Considerations • Younger teens are unable to connect to later consequences so messages must focus on the here and now. • Primary motivators influencing teen food choices: taste, appearance, and hunger. • Address perceived time constraints and the convenience of the microwave. • Include the increased competence of teens to cook safely. • Address teens’ perceived lack of susceptibility and emphasize self‐ interest and positive outcomes. • Influencers – Parents/peers influence teens about health and food decisions Young Adults Non‐College Students (two‐thirds of this age group) College Students • Message Considerations • Address when students should be using conventional ovens rather than microwaves for cooking frozen foods. • Address the perception of ease with microwaves and the lack of time to cook with conventional ovens. • Compare the need to read cooking instructions with students’ increasing smart decision to read nutrition labels. • Influencers – Peers are important influencers • Channels – Social media, user‐created Web content, interactive programs, TV Older Adults • Message Considerations • The ability to understand and interpret food labels decrease over time. • Be loud, clear, graphical, bright, easy‐to‐read typeface, large print, color and contrast, and use short, simple, direct language. • Address older adult myths (i.e., touching, pinching food). • Impart probability of those 65‐to‐80‐year‐olds becoming ill from unsafely preparing frozen food. • Include where to purchase food thermometers and why it’s important. • Elicit a sense of personal control and independence. • Use narratives. • Influencers • Medical professionals and sources • Channels • Traditional media combined with interpersonal reinforcement • TV and newspaper Next Steps/Recommended Strategies Develop integrated marketing campaigns using multimedia communication channels A. Consumer education media campaign B. Community outreach campaign C. Stakeholder partnership campaign Include mothers/caregivers as fourth target audience Next Steps/Recommended Strategies A. Consumer Education Media Campaign Select multimedia channels to reach each target audience 1. Earned Media/PR: TV, radio, print, online 2. Paid Media: Strategic partnerships with a national media network, educational article marketing, pay‐per‐click algorithmic online marketing, social advertising, specialized media 3. New Media: Text/SMS integration, Web 2.0/social media, online contests Next Steps/Recommended Strategies B. Community Outreach Campaign Conduct community outreach to educate each target audience 1. Adolescents: middle schools and high schools 2. Young Adults: colleges, universities, office buildings 3. Older Adults: physicians’ offices and senior residential/community centers Next Steps/Recommended Strategies C. Stakeholder Partnership Campaign – Stakeholder Roles • Partner Working Group and Information Exchange • Collaborative Research, Planning and Marketing • Message and Materials Development and Dissemination Conclusions • Conduct additional research – Validate the need and the approach, and develop effective messages and instructions – Gain insight on the sizeable young adult, non‐student target audience • Use an integrated marketing campaign – Reach audiences through media, community outreach, and partnership activities – Include comprehensive, multichannel, interactive media campaign, with a Web 2.0/social media presence • Consumer education campaign should address mistakes, misunderstandings, and misconceptions – Expand target audience to include mothers/caregivers and preteens • Will require an integrated approach with government, industry and other stakeholders Questions? Carol Freeman CFreeman@icfi.com 240‐747‐4901
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