RANDOLPH, Mass. -- The Northeast Fresh Foods Alliance here will feature a consumer panel on takeout food at its New Horizons Conference & Exposition, April 28 and 29, at Boston's World Trade Center.
consumer survey will be revealed during the discussion.
The NEFFA's survey was conducted via a mailback card inserted in its first issue of Consumer Watch, a quarterly direct-mail newsletter the alliance launched in December and mailed to 15,000 Northeast households.
"This is the first step in regionalizing much-needed information for our members, and the response we got was tremendous. We received a 34% mailback, which amounts to more than 4,000 households," Macala said.
Consumers were asked how many times a week they purchase a takeout lunch or dinner from a restaurant and from a supermarket; and what category of food they most frequently take home for dinner.
They were also asked to choose from a list of multiple choices what would be most likely to influence them to buy a ready-to-eat/ready-to-heat lunch or dinner at a supermarket. There were 13 questions in all.
The panel of consumers will be moderated by Art Turock, president of Turock & Associates, a futurist and consultant who is also a keynote speaker at the conference and expo.
The two-day conference and expo will be kicked off by Ira Blumenthal, president of Co-Opportunities, an Atlanta-based consulting and marketing firm that works with manufacturers and food service.
Blumenthal will also lead a panel that will present an update of the state of HMR in the supermarket industry. Kevin Hade, vice president of manufacturing at Ukrop's Super Markets, Richmond, Va., will be a key member of that panel this year. Ed DeLuca, founder and president of DeLuca Inc., a Middlebury, Conn., manufacturer of fresh, prepared meal components; and Stephan Kouzomis, president of Entrepreneurial Consulting, Louisville, Ky., will also be part of that panel.
Another panel of experts will discuss the Food and Drug Administration's new regulations on fresh and frozen turkey meat and the regulations' effect on retailers for Thanksgiving. Other speakers will include Mel Coleman, founder and chairman of Coleman Natural Products, and Vicki Loveridge, project officer for irradiated foods at the Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center.