Some Consumers Skipping Produce

CHICAGO — Despite growing consumer interest in healthful eating, a portion of customers still aren’t eating much fruit and vegetables, according to a recent report from Mintel.

Seven percent of survey respondents reported eating no daily servings of vegetables, and 14% reported eating no fruit servings. And, when consumers are eating vegetables, they aren’t necessarily eating large amounts. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents reported eating no more than two servings of vegetables per day.

As for why consumers aren’t buying and eating vegetables, the surveyed participants said barriers were simply not liking to eat vegetables (12%), the cost (62%), and lack of preparation knowledge (27%). In addition, Mintel noted that more than a third of surveyed consumers said vegetables go bad before they can be eaten.

To encourage more produce consumption, Mintel suggested offering salad meal promotions due to the popularity of salads with consumers; promoting produce as a snack since 59% of consumers already eat fruit as a snack; marketing produce as a better source of vitamins than pills; and giving vegetable preparation ideas to help the consumers with meal ideas before vegetables can go bad.

And, with 52% of consumers surveyed agreeing it’s more important to buy local produce than it is to buy organic, and a third of consumers shopping for produce at farmers markets, Mintel noted, “This underscores the value of retailers working with growers and setting up farmers markets in the parking lot of other designated areas.”

For more from this report, see SN’s feature “Convenience Culture: Value-Added Produce [2].”