What Now? An Update on Current Consumer Habits
There is no denying it, things still look different. We figured it was a good time to provide an update on how the current state of affairs is continuing to affect consumer shopping lists.
Members of the fresh produce supply chain have been having consistent, thoughtful virtual conversations to explore what the era of COVID-19 has brought so far, and what we might expect moving forward.
Health and nutrition continue to be steady concerns, but fear of an extreme economic downturn coupled with eat-your-feelings levels of stress has folks reaching for less expensive comfort and snack foods. This is the time to encourage shoppers to heavily supplement their diet with fresh fruit and vegetables. Displaying fresh berries alongside whipped cream or dark chocolate can help remind shoppers that food can be both comforting and healthy.
In general, however, fresh fruit not only helps get your shoppers in good shape, it seems to be in good shape itself, with fresh produce sales up 17.1% from last year (over the week of May 10). Shoppers also continue to be preoccupied with concerns over loose or bagged produce, opting for pre-packaged when possible. This can be in direct conflict, however, with the sustainability concerns that are, at this point, ingrained in the mindset of a large portion of consumers. Well?Pict Berries clamshell packaging is 100% recyclable and made from 70% recycled drinking bottles. This is a great thing to highlight when displaying Well?Pict strawberries and raspberries, especially considering people sometimes associate any plastic with being wasteful and bad for the environment.
This is a stressful time for all, but it’s also a time when families are cooking more and considering how to keep themselves healthy in entirely new ways. Luckily, fresh produce, and in many ways fresh fruit in particular–with its combination of healthy and comforting–fits well into the eating habits that have developed during these strange, uncharted times.
Data for this post was taken from summaries of the PMA (Produce Marketing Association) roundtables held in April and May.