Negative associations of frozen compared with fresh vegetables

Appetite. 2018 Aug 1;127:296-302. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.05.134. Epub 2018 May 19.


Despite convenience and nutrition advantages of frozen vegetables, consumption of them is low compared with fresh vegetables and continues to decrease. In two studies, we observe a negative bias for frozen vegetables compared with fresh vegetables. In study 1, we used an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to demonstrate that generalized negative associations with frozen vegetables are automatic, robust, and ingrained in long-term memory. In study 2, we conceptually replicate this finding with an explicit measure and extend it by examining the role of transforming the food product in formation of the observed negative bias. We find no improvement in evaluation for frozen spinach when participants contemplate the final cooked product. Instead, we see less favorable evaluations of fresh spinach when participants contemplate the final cooked product. These findings are consistent with previous research that demonstrates that transformation of a food from its "natural" state leads to less favorable evaluations of it.

Keywords: Food transformation; Frozen food; Frozen produce; IAT; Implicit association; Vegetable consumption.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Ethnicity
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Food Preservation / methods*
  • Frozen Foods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students
  • Universities
  • Vegetables*
  • Young Adult