The Data is in! We’ve Got The Latest on This Year’s FMI Report.
Guessing at consumer habits is, in general, a dicey game—each year brings new challenges, new trends, and new ways for shoppers to surprise you in terms of their quirks and needs. And, boy howdy, was 2020 ever a doozy in terms of throwing overall shopping and food-prep habits into a full-tilt loop-de-loop. As COVID-related quarantines outstayed their welcomes, people vacillated between relishing the extra time to cook at home, and needing no-prep convenience meals to throw on the table between Zoom school and Zoom board meetings. We all fell in love with making our own sourdough starters, but we also microwaved frozen pizza snacks when virtual sixth grade collided with virtual full-time work.
The 2021 FMI (Food Marketing Institute—The Food Industry Association) Power of Produce report, unsurprisingly, reflects this chaos. The good news: “According to the report, produce department sales grew 11.4 percent in 2020 to reach $69.6 billion, and people are buying more produce than they did before the pandemic. Vegetable sales were up 14.2 percent, while fresh fruit sales rose 8.9 percent in the past year.”¹
While some shoppers were purchasing fresh fruits and veggies in order to experiment with new and challenging recipes, there was a definite tipping point in terms of patience with elaborate meal prep; the trend started to lean toward pre-cut and ready-to-serve.
In their article outlining the implications of this new data, The Produce News recommends using this period of too-much-time/not-enough-time to educate shoppers on new ways of using produce and the different types of produce they may want to explore (e.g., organic vs. conventional; seasonal vs. year-round; heirloom varieties of vegetables).
What does that mean for strawberries? Educate your shoppers on what to look for in a high-quality strawberry: namely, consistency of size, color, flavor, and aroma. Share an overview of why a brand like Well•Pict Berries can offer consistently superior strawberries year round (nutshell: our strategic work with growers in Florida and Northern and Southern California). You can learn more about what makes Well•Pict unique by checking out the fun and engaging videos in our online Berry Academy and find shareable, downloadable content in our Digital Retailer Kit.