PRODUCE OF THE
Retailers must modify their marketing approach to appeal to consumers of all ages.
BY NATALIE TAYLOR
PRODUCE HAS GROWN INTO A MATUREANDPROFITABLERETAIL MARKET, and has been a con- sistent driver of growth in the grocery perimeter. Studies have
found that practically all consumers eat some
type of produce, so for retailers, it is not a matter of drawing shoppers to the category, but
rather driving them to purchase even more.
Grocers must understand their shoppers’ history and habits, particularly across the generations, to modify their marketing approaches
toward each demographic.
Omnichannel data company, V12 Data,
based in Red Bank, N.J., defines Baby Boomers
as those born between 1946 and 1964, who
grew up during the era of rock ‘n roll and
social change. They have the most disposable income compared to other generations,
though they are still fans of coupons and sales.
Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980,
was raised during the transition period from
print to digital. Though often excluded from
the conversation, this group should not be discounted as it accounts for 31 percent of the
nation’s total income dollars, per V12 Data.
Millennials were born between 1981 and 2000,
growing up in a fast-paced digital world that
has set their standards for engagement and
access to information.
Despite their apparent differences, when
it comes to produce purchases, these generations are more similar than one may assume.
According to the Food Marketing Institute’s
(FMI) The Power of Produce 2017 report, price
is the key factor in driving store trips across all
generations. However, each group’s spending
power still varies.
“While price is important for Baby
A LOOK THROUGH THE
Boomers, it’s not to the same degree as the
Millennials and the Gen Z because they have
less money,” says Rick Stein, VP of fresh foods
at Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Millennials on
the whole have to be very efficient in how they
spend their money and where they spend it.”
Yet, while price is important for Boomers and
Gen Xers, it is not paramount, Stein adds, as
they typically have more disposable income.
CONSUMERS’ E YES
Though price draws store traffic, appearance
is the ultimate deciding factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions. FMI’s The Power of
Produce 2017 report found that this is particularly true among older generations who place a
greater emphasis on overall value rather than
low prices alone. “All the purchases happen at
store level, and that’s based on the quality—the
perceived quality and freshness,” Stein says,
noting that appearance does not necessarily
determine a product’s quality or freshness,
though it does in the eyes of the consumer.
“If you walk up to the peach display, maybe
you’ll see three or four bruised peaches that
are kind of soft—and typically bruised peaches
will also manifest fruit flies—so despite the
fact that the peaches were 99 cents a pound,
you walk away from that display not purchas-
ing anything,” Stein explains. “And then what
the consumer is doing, not only do they not
purchase the peach, they shut down in terms
of their purchasing across the department.”
While Millennials, too, are drawn to qual-
ity appearance, they tend to look toward