Home » Report: Shoppers Want To Add Produce To Meal Occasions
National Produce News

Report: Shoppers Want To Add Produce To Meal Occasions

FMI produce report

Consumers want to incorporate produce into more meal occasions, reduce produce waste and learn more about the nutritional value of fresh foods, identifying opportunities for growth within this fresh retail department.   

These were among the findings of the “Power of Produce 2024″ report, released March 8 by FMI – The Food Industry Association during the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure conference. 

“Overall, the produce department performance has been solid, but we are seeing consumers being more deliberate in their produce purchases to avoid food waste,” said Rick Stein, VP of fresh foods at FMI. 

“Food retailers and suppliers need to focus on helping shoppers with meal ideation and emphasizing the nutrition benefits of fruits and vegetables.”

Create enticing meal occasions

According to the report, produce consumption has dropped to a seven-year low across all meal occasions, presenting an opportunity to increase sales by focusing on boosting consumption frequency. 

Critical areas for growth include offering shoppers ideas for vegetable and fruit snacking, incorporating vegetables at breakfast, and healthy desserts. 

For example, 51 percent of produce shoppers desire tips on innovative ways to incorporate fresh fruit and vegetable snacking.

Educate about nutritional benefits of produce

Meeting customers in-store or online with nutrition education is a prime strategy to increase produce consumption. Many consumers associate fresh produce with nutrition and health, leading to higher consumption across various meal occasions when healthy eating is the focus. 

The report found that retailers have an opportunity to emphasize health benefits, offer guidance on portion sizes and provide practical tips for integrating fresh produce into all meal occasions.

Address concerns about food waste

Six in 10 Americans say that fresh produce waste at home is a financial challenge they cannot afford and 51 percent of shoppers reduce produce purchases to avoid spoilage. 

According to the report, food retailers can be transparent about efforts to reduce waste by highlighting shelf-life programs, community donation initiatives and providing storage advice. They also can offer portion options and integrate considerations of functionality and environmental impact into packaging decisions.

“Price has not been the predominant driver of purchases in recent years, but rather appearance and ripeness. Now, price is back in play,” Stein said. 

“Food retailers have the opportunity to educate shoppers on their food waste reduction programs and offer waste reduction tips that allow shoppers to fully benefit from their produce purchases.”

The “Power of Produce 2024” is authored by 210 Analytics and made possible by Yerecic Label and Southeast Produce Council. This marks the sixth year in a row it was released by FMI.

About FMI

As the food industry association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. 

FMI brings together a range of members across the value chain – from retailers that sell to consumers, to producers that supply food and other products, as well as a wide variety of companies providing critical services – to amplify the collective work of the industry.

Read more association news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap