Consumer Study Presented at PMA Fresh Summit

Oct 14, 2002

By Al

Robb Bertels, publisher, The Packer, presented results of a recent consumer study at the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans. The consumer study, done online, included 1136 respondents, of which 75% were women. The purpose of the study was to understand more about how shoppers perceive the produce department, based on their last, typical shopping trip.

Among the findings:

  • Twenty-five percent didn’t know what they were going to buy upon entering the store.

  • Of those that did know what they wanted, nearly 70% purchased something they hadn’t intended to.

  • Seventy-two percent said that up to half of their total produce purchases were unplanned.

  • Seventy-three percent of shoppers said overall appearance was a key purchase consideration.

  • Seventy-one percent made a produce purchase simply because it looked appetizing.

  • Half of shoppers did not look at store ads or inserts before shopping.

  • Seven percent said a produce sample caused them to make an unplanned purchase.

  • One-third didn’t recall seeing any type of information, including POP, in the produce department.

  • Sixty-two percent said a good price was the key reason to make an unplanned purchase.

  • Nearly half said a sale caused them to purchase a specific item.

  • Fifty percent did not buy something they planned to purchase, because it was too expensive.

  • Seventy-five percent said high prices have caused them to buy less or stop buying altogether specific fresh produce items.

  • One-third didn’t make any impulse purchases in the produce department.

Produce was the most important department when determining where to buy all groceries.

  • Fifty percent had switched their primary grocery store because they did
    not like the produce department.

  • What prevented sales?


Moderator’s Comment: Considering its importance, do
supermarkets place enough resources (human and financial) to support and grow
their produce business?

It’s not news that getting produce right is essential
for any grocer looking to grow business in this highly competitive market. What
is puzzling is the frequency that grocers continue to lose customers because
they are not performing up to their shoppers’ expectations. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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