The power of place

Departments - Editor’s Letter

July 18, 2022

While health benefits still spur consumers’ fresh produce buying decisions, the locavore movement continues to gain steam.

Most consumers consider shopping in the produce aisle an investment in personal health, according to the 2022 Power of Produce report from FMI-the Food Industry Association. More than 95% of those surveyed equate buying fresh produce with digestive health, weight management and disease management. And one-third of consumers who pay a lot of attention to health and nutrition tend to see fresh produce as playing a central role in their diet, and six-in-ten shoppers purchase fruits and vegetables to deliver on specific health benefits. “This positive association has spurred higher demand for more information about nutrition, health benefits, recommended daily amounts, and other health-centric insights,” according to FMI. Make sure you’re hitting those health points in your sales and marketing programs.

While health benefits are a key driver, locally grown produce continues to influence consumer spending. In the FMI report, 56% of consumers say they want their produce department to carry more fruits and vegetables that are locally grown, followed by grown in the U.S. (54%). “Such distinctions are most effective when paired with specific locally sourced definitions, like a certain mile radius or state lines,” FMI reports. In this month’s cover story (page 8), Revolution Farms is banking on that local market in the Midwest, thanks in part to its new partnership with Meijer grocery stores.

The Power of Produce also revealed that 25% of shoppers ranked price as the number one factor when making fresh produce purchasing decisions, followed by appearance (19%), health benefits (19%) and ripeness (15%). You’re growing a premium product that commands a higher price. For those 25% who are more cost-conscious, make sure you’re giving them all the reasons why your product is worth more — from the freshness of the product to the community you’re benefitting.

Kelli Rodda, editorial director | krodda@gie.net