Fruitful opportunities in fresh produce marketing

  • New dawn produce marketing

Fruitful opportunities in fresh produce marketing

Changes and challenges in the fresh produce market continue to bring to light some key opportunities which forward thinking produce companies will seize upon.

We attended the Fresh Produce Journal’s conference recently and it reaffirmed the facts.

Consumer opinions and shopping behaviours are changing rapidly. Cost, waste and provenance are high on the list for many UK shoppers. And shopping online, with discounters and convenience stores is where the growth lies.

Supply chains are changing as a result of these trends. There is a great opportunity for wholesalers to add value into the supply chain and move along it closer to retailers.  As the big 4 feel the pinch from the discounters, we have found they are more receptive to being shown marketing and new product development ideas from wholesalers. Read more on this here.

Here’s our take on the trends and challenges and in market, taken form the FPJ conference, followed by our take on the opportunities:

Trends in the industry:

  • Growth will come from convenience, online and discounters
  • Exports represent an area of opportunity – especially the science of UK farming as we are world leaders
  • Identity within the value chain is important
  • Consumers are still only eating 3.6 portions a day

Shopper trends:

  • Concerns about the economy have been replaced by personal concerns around cost of living and job security
  • Cosumers are buying less – this is a permanent change with shopping lists, budgets and meal plans back for good.
  • Produce waste and packaging are key concerns
  • 75% say provenance is important in buying meat and fresh produce – less concern about organic.
  • Though 40% say they would pay more for fresh produce if they knew more was going back to the farmers
  • A report from the IGD points out shoppers feel well informed about making healthy choices but can’t link up how that pans out in terms of impact on the environment.

The main opportunities as we see them:

  • A huge opportunity for the discounters to continue to increase footfall and attract NEW customers away from the big 4 by selling great fresh produce, fairly priced. My partner recently shopped at Lidl for the first time in a few years and was staggered by the improved breadth of choice, quality and attractive prices. She plans to shop there regularly.

  • An opportunity for a brave big 4 supermarket to lead the way with a game changing, cast iron commitment to help consumers boost their current 3.6-a-day to five or whatever the new “required-a-day” might be. This could have rub off on store wide sales and a huge halo effect. Something the big 4 desperately need with their dictatorship seemingly over.

  • Opportunities for suppliers in the value chain to help retailers:
    • NPD with innovation in pack and in-store visualisations - seize the product and make it fly off the shelves
    • Capitalise on consumers’ needs for provenance, environmental impact understanding and “farmer payback” by bringing the farmer brand story far closer to them
    • Work on innovative ways to reduce/improve packaging and help reduce waste in the household.
  • An opportunity to create more theatre within the produce shopping experience. Make the experience superior with a fresher and more thoughtful approach.
    • An opportunity for the youth market to be targeted as their needs are differentiated enough for them to be seen as a separate segment.
       

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