Shoppers spent $59.8 billion on produce in the year ending Aug. 12, according to research from IRI. In fact, 80% of shoppers said they choose their primary grocery store based on availability of high-quality produce items, FMI found in its “US Grocery Shopper Trends 2018” report. Produce sales were almost flat in comparison with last year, with an increase of only 1.1 percent, but the importance of produce as a consistent draw for supermarket shoppers remains as important as ever.
Lightbulb Moment: This research aligns with research on meal kits indicating that consumers do not want fresh meat or produce coming to their door, but instead want to pick out these items themselves at the store. The produce section of a store can make or break a long-term relationship with a consumer. It is the litmus test for whether the consumer will continue and shop the rest of the store. If a store can’t pass this test then the consumer may use it as their back up store when their primary store does not have a particular item.