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Fresh Food

Quality, Display Top Drivers of Produce Purchases

New Category Partners survey reveals key sales drivers
Photograph: Shutterstock

With health and wellness trends on the rise, retailers are experimenting with a number of tactics to tap into this growing consumer segment and draw shoppers to the produce department. But some strategies work better than others.

According to a new survey from Category Partners, good quality, promotions and low prices, enticing displays and targeted assortments are the top factors driving produce purchases. Meanwhile, retailers’ apps featuring sales and usage information, and signage describing an item’s flavor profile, usage or recipe ideas fall short in drawing shoppers’ attention.

The survey, which is the latest in Category Partners’ Consumer Perspectives series, polled 1,000 U.S. consumers of various demographics, including geography, age, race, gender and household income. As such, results varied by demographics but found that age and generation brackets were the most all-encompassing in terms of what in-store variables elicit a positive impact on shoppers selecting produce.

Results by age include:

  • Shoppers ages 65 and older responded most positively to good quality, well-executed displays and optimal selection and varieties.
  • Shoppers ages 55-64 prioritized everyday low prices, sales and promotions.
  • Shoppers 45-54 were most drawn to information and signage related to produce origin, nutrition and wellness attributes.
  • Shoppers ages 22-44 cited available and knowledgeable staff and signage that highlights information on nutrition, wellness, ripeness and storage.

"Across all regions and most demographic groups, consumers noted good quality and low price as ways retailers encourage them to buy produce, but there are interesting differences among the age groups,” Cara Ammon, director of research for Category Partners, said in a statement. “Shoppers ages 55 and older more often noticed quality produce, attractive displays, low prices and a good selection of products, while shoppers ages 44 and younger more often noticed sampling events, store apps and informative signage.”

Ammon also underscored the value behind retailers and suppliers collaboratively modeling their shoppers’ behaviors to increase conversion and impulse and repeat purchases. To achieve this requires deeper quantitative and qualitative data to target specific ages and generations to drive sales.

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