The most recent analysis of the grocery produce category by the food industry association, FMI, finds that this $61 billion category is primed to increase the spend per buyer and per trip and improve frequency. The study, the Power of Produce 2020, was released Feb. 28 in conjunction with a presentation at the Southeastern Produce Council Southern Exposure event.
“The Power of Produce tells us that even the most mature category needs to find ways to inspire growth,” said Rick Stein, VP of fresh foods for FMI. “To that end, we’ve witnessed tremendous strides in recent years for how enhanced produce offerings can inspire consumer demand, as value-added produce alone has grown about 3 percent in both dollars and volume—three times higher than overall produce.”
This wave in convenience-driven merchandising plays directly into consumers’ desire for more information and education regarding produce, whether that’s information about growing practices, nutrition facts recipe ideas or specific medical and health benefits.
“March is National Nutrition Month, so it’s a ripe time of year to introduce a health narrative to the shopper, especially since 49 percent of shoppers adhere to a specific eating style or diet that influences produce choices, such as watching carbohydrate intake and/or calorie consumption,” Stein said.
In addition to opportunities for health and convenience, the report demonstrates some divides among consumers when it comes to channel choice and packaging. Thirteen percent of shoppers say they buy produce in a different store than where they purchase most of their groceries and for organic produce shoppers, 27 percent go elsewhere. Shoppers are also divided in the packaging debate between functionality mattering most (31 percent), the environment mattering most (35 percent) or striking a balance between the two (34 percent).