business news in context, analysis with attitude

New research by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) into what makes consumers decide to buy fresh produce has found that taste remains the top purchase influencer. When asked to specify in their own words what is most important to them in deciding which fresh fruits and vegetables to buy, 23 percent of respondents said taste is most important. Other top five purchase drivers (in order of preference) were health benefits (18 percent), appearance (16 percent), price (15 percent), and habit/buy every week (6 percent).

“For years our industry has educated consumers on the nutritional and health benefits of produce,” explained PMA President Bryan Silbermann. “We need to go further. Now our challenge is to offer shoppers new flavors and textures to engage their senses. As marketers, our focus should go beyond getting produce from ‘seed to store’ and be devoted toward getting fruits and vegetables ‘from seed to stomach.’ The way to do that is to consistently deliver a flavorful and memorable experience.”

With a renewed focus on more healthful eating by many consumers, PMA also asked survey respondents if they resolved to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables in 2005 and why they will do so. Half of consumers said they had resolved to eat more produce this year, while 48 percent said they would not. The likelihood to make that resolution came more often from women (56 percent), people under the age of 30 (53 percent), lower-income respondents (63 percent), and non-Caucasian respondents (66 percent).
KC's View: