Why do consumers select a particular grocery store? The answer is because of the store’s fresh produce. People are increasingly searching for healthy food options and heading for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Progressive Grocer‘s December issue features its annual Produce Operations Review which provides a snapshot of the foremost issues the average retail produce director deals with on an annual basis. Three of the top six concerns relate to produce quality, customer satisfaction and reducing shrink. (The other three are economic concerns to the retailer. 14 reasons were listed in the survey results.)
- Wholesale Prices
- Competition from Supermarkets
- Quality of Product
- Customer Satisfaction Levels
Shoppers are increasingly scouting out the freshest, highest value produce they can find. They don’t want to spend their precious dollars on produce that will go bad the next day. If they buy a basket of strawberries on Friday only to find that come Saturday morning the berries are fuzzy and molding, they’ll likely consider switching to another store. This puts the onus on the retailer to ensure adequate shelf life and quality of the produce they sell. But visual inspection isn’t always adequate to ensure the produce will remain fresh long enough for the consumer to enjoy it.
In-transit temperature monitoring can help. Temperature monitoring can provide a shelf life index (or freshness factor) that tells the grocer that the produce he or she is receiving from distribution is fresh enough to sell, providing actionable data that goes well beyond visual inspection. Interestingly, by improving the quality of produce, retailers can create competitive advantage that helps address the other three issues relating to pricing, profits and competition! You can learn more about this by reading our case study and white paper or email me.
Here’s to a healthy and fresh 2012!
Senior Director of Marketing