ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly all consumers buy fresh produce, but 36% eat fruits and vegetables only three times a week or fewer, according to the newest Power of Produce report from the Food Marketing Institute.

FMI debuted its report, which combines data from Nielsen and IRI with consumer survey results, at an education session March 8 at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure.

On the other end of the spectrum, 41% of shoppers eat produce just about every day, while 23% eat produce 4-5 days per week.

Among the groups that do not consume as often, however, there are many people who intend to eat more produce.

“Americans are consciously trying to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables across most meal occasions — an effort that has only intensified since 2017, particularly for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” FMI wrote in the report. “Snacking remains a key avenue for improved produce consumption.”

Fifty-four percent of younger millennials and 58% of older millennials reported targeting breakfast as a time to eat more fruits and vegetables, while 65% of Gen X shoppers and 61% of boomers mentioned snacking.

“Growth in produce requires encouraging new item trial and new usage occasions,” FMI wrote. “The very different strategies across demographic groups provide clues on how to best leverage assortment, marketing and merchandising for each consumption occasion.

“For instance, desire to increase consumption during lunch and dinner is fairly universal, but increased consumption through breakfast, snacks and beverages sees very different interest levels,” FMI wrote.

Dinner is the number one eat-more-produce target of shoppers overall, with snacking coming in second.

Thirty-eight percent of consumers want their produce department to offer more snack-size vegetables, according to the report. That number was just 15% in 2017.

“Demographics with a higher interest in produce snacking also have a higher interest in convenient fruit and vegetable snacking solutions,” FMI wrote. “This points to the important role of convenience in produce snacking.”

For more from the report, check out the following articles, and get the full report – which has many additional insights – from FMI at www.fmi.org/store/


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