“Berries are both a household staple as well as an impulse buy. Consumers are increasingly becoming more health conscious and aware that certain foods, like berries, should be a part of their daily routine,” said Kyla Oberman, marketing manager for Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla.
This trend means more consumers are ready to consistently place berries on their shopping list.
“The Strawberry Commission recently released research findings about consumer shopping trends and show that more consumers are putting fresh berries on their shopping list, versus previously just buying on impulse,” said Cindy Jewell, director of marketing, California Giant Berry Farms Inc., Watsonville, Calif.
One important reason berries are beginning to be added to weekly shopping lists around the country is that consumers are more educated on the health benefits berries offer.
“Thanks to the media and the work of the industry, it’s now common knowledge that blueberries are healthy,” said Marcos Nuques, West Coast sales manager, Giumarra International Berry, Los Angeles.
Much of that consumer-related health and nutrition information comes from research supported by various berry organizations.
“We strongly support the research results we receive from the Strawberry Commission and the North American Blueberry Council on health attributes of fresh berries,” Jewell said. Jewell said she thinks it’s important to forward any new findings on to consumers because the information helps shoppers make valuable decisions on what to put in the cart when they shop for fresh fruit.
“If they know the nutritional values of fresh berries when shopping for their family, it helps to make sure we are on the shopping list,” Jewell said.
Despite the idea that more consumers are planning their berry purchases before they enter the store, displays are still extremely important.
“Even though 50% of consumers believe that strawberries are healthy and on their shopping list, 66% still make that final purchasing decision based on the appearance of the display,” Jewell said.
The quality of berries is also critical because consumers won’t buy berries they deem to be either damaged, underripe or overripe.
In order to better market to the consumer who plans on buying berries before they enter the store, Jewell said California Giant has tried to increase the quality of their berries even more.07/23/2014 The Packer