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A new report says attractive produce increases overall sales at supermarkets.

August 04, 2017

Have you ever stopped to think what brings you into a grocery store, and makes you want to open up your wallet once you're there? As a recent report unveils, a store's produce section plays a large part in what makes it attractive to consumers, and the better its vegetable and fruit displays, the more money we're willing to spend—not only in the store's freshest sections, but throughout the entire space, the report says.

The Food Marketing Institute's Findings of the Power of Produce 2017 proves that we do judge a book—or a store—by it's cover. While "price and promotions are important in driving traffic," the report states, "appearance easily dominates the purchasing decision tree." That can be especially true in the produce section, where customers are demanding more variety, local fare, and eye-catching displays paired with a promotion here or there.

"Produce is a supermarket stronghold," the report states, adding that by making this section more attractive, grocery stores could convert more costumers and therefore increase their bottom lines. Last year, for example, "value-added produce and salads saw robust growth and are ideally positioned for further growth through increasing household penetration and purchase frequency—provided shoppers can overcome the price differential and their perceived drawbacks, including [a] short shelf life." Those "value-added" items include pre-cut vegetables and fruits, pre-washed salad mixes, and other ready-to-eat/cook fresh products.

So how can stores make their produce sections more attractive? For starters, FMI says, they should increase their local and organic offerings. According to its report, "54 percent of shoppers [are] hoping for an expanded local selection" where local vegetables and fruit are defined as grown within state lines. And when it comes to organic options, "core organic buyers want to buy organic as often and for as many items as possible," the report states. In other words, stores, stock up.