Interest in workers’ rights and global farming mean that consumers are getting vocal about a lot of things these days. Thankfully, the product offered by the fresh fruit and vegetable industry is a solid winner. Consumers continue to clamor for fresh produce, and they’re becoming more conscientious about how it’s produced and where it comes from. 

Grower issues affecting purchases

This year in the Fresh Trends survey, we asked whether fair trade labels were a factor in fresh produce purchases. It turns out that nearly six in 10 shoppers (59%) said they would be more likely to buy fresh produce that contained a “fair trade” label, which identifies goods that are grown with protections in place for workers—like ensuring they’re paid a fair wage.

Hispanic consumers were the most likely demographic group overall to favor this type of product—72% of Hispanic shoppers said they would purchase “fair wage” produce.

Supporting local farmers was also of interest to shoppers this year. Most (63%) said they cared about keeping their food dollars close to home and supporting their own community.

More than half of consumers (55%) said they made a conscious effort to buy locally grown/regional produce; 48% said they were buying more locally grown produce than they were five years ago.

Buying more

Interest in fresh produce continues at a steady pace. This year, 73% of shoppers said they were buying a larger variety of fresh produce than 20 years ago. 

Avocados, asparagus, bell peppers and broccoli topped the list of items that shoppers said they were buying now that they did not buy previously.

Better nutrition (specifically adding more nutrients) was the prime reason that more than three-fourths of survey respondents said they’d increased the number of fruits and veggies in their diets.

When it comes to making the decision to try something new, consumers let their taste buds do the talking.

More than 40% of shoppers said that sampling at the supermarket was a key way to get them to try a new fruit or vegetable, and 36% said they would buy a new item after trying it at a restaurant.

More than two-thirds of shoppers (67%) said they were buying more fresh fruits and vegetables than last year, and 70% said they bought more produce than five years ago. Thirty-five percent of consumers said that offering a price break was a sure way to get them to buy a produce item they had not tried before.

Most shoppers (81%) said they purchased fresh fruits in the past 12 months; 76% of consumers said they grabbed fresh vegetables in the past year.


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