Grocers need to take advantage.

Produce sales increased 3.3% and volume grew 2.6% over the 52 weeks ending March 19th. Total produce category sales reached $63 billion, outpacing all other categories.

Why?

Millennials.

Now a larger group than the Baby Boom generation, millennials (ages 18-36), are the largest segment of the workforce and have gained significant buying power. Millennial shoppers are showing a preference for healthy fresh fruits, organic and natural items.

According to a recent survey from the Organic Trade Association, more than half of organic shoppers are millennials with children. In fact, parents ages 18 to 34 years old represent the largest group of organic consumers in the United States.

Grocery stores are reaping the benefits of millennials healthy buying preferences, but not entirely. Findings in Power of Produce 2017 showed that millennials are also driving growth in alternative channels, such as specialty organic stores and farmers’ markets.

Millennials are:

  • eating more fruits and vegetables than other generational groups

  • less likely to use weekly advertising circulars to help them shop

  • relying more on recommendations from friends and family

  • purchasing additional produce items on impulse

What supermarkets can do:

  • consider adding or expanding their selection of locally grown produce

  • be aware that half of impulse purchases are the result of eye-catching displays and enticing fruits & vegetables

  • have knowledgeable associates to assist shoppers with unfamiliar items or preparation options

  • find ways to connect with millennials online

Millennials are gaining consumer power and showing strong preferences for produce. Category managers need to come up with some fresh-squeezed ideas to take full advantage. The time is ripe.

 

Related articles:

http://www.theshelbyreport.com/2017/08/01/produce-power/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/local-continues-drive-growth-produce-rick-stein-8142017-rick-stein

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/produce-crown-jewel-supermarket-perimeter-rick-stein

http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Consumer_Trends/2016/09/Millennials_pushing_organic_to.aspx?ID=%7BAEBB3311-60FD-457C-808E-4EC37979C1D0%7D&cck=1

http://www.newhope.com/food-and-beverage/millennials-eye-alternative-channels-produce

http://www.fooddive.com/news/grocery–report-millennial-shoppers-and-attractive-displays-are-driving-produce-sale/448532/