Produce departments: The apple of the shopper’s eye

When consumers are choosing a grocery store, there’s no bigger turn-off than a disappointing produce department. While retailers may offer different products, prices and layouts than competitors, 92% of shoppers agree that quality of fresh produce is the single most important factor for consumers when choosing a grocery store. As one U.S. produce retail executive explains, fresh produce is “the first thing people see and really sets the tone for somebody’s shopping experience”.

Consumer research continues to support the importance of high-quality produce displays. The 2014 National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru Consumer Survey determined the produce department is the only measure that over 90% of consumers said was “very important” in their selection of a primary supermarket. The study also found stores with high-ranking produce departments enjoyed more return trips from shoppers.Woman apple shopping

As produce is the most important factor in attracting and retaining shoppers, retailers are well served by ensuring their fruits and veggies are consistently high quality and visually appealing. And for stores looking to boost their produce department’s appeal, a great place to start is with prominently displayed products – like apples! As we’ve shared before, of the top-5 traits consumers identified as important in their apple preferences, four were sensory: color/shine, freshness/quality, texture/crispness and no blemishes/bruises.

To meet these high standards, retailers often sort out any bruised or blemished fruit. The fact is, if there are 50 nice-looking apples and 10 that are bruised, only the prettiest fruit will be selected. The rejection of the less-than-perfect fruits is the major reason apples are one of the most wasted foods on the planet. Further, high shrinkage rates can also have a significant impact on stores’ bottom lines.

While it may still be a few years before they’re in stores, it’s easy to see how Arctic® apples can help address quality concerns with apples! Their nonbrowning trait positively impacts what consumers look for when selecting their apples, while also helping retailers (not to mention growers, packers, processors and consumers) cut down on unnecessary waste.

Reducing food waste, more desirable apples for consumers, and more attractive displays and shrinkage rates for retailers are all possible thanks to a simple and safe improvement to the same apple consumers have always loved!

About Joel Brooks

Growing up in the Okanagan, Joel had the opportunity to experience apple growing first hand, a background that lead him to his role as Product & Special Projects Manager. Joel feels privileged to work with such great people towards a goal that’s so easy to get behind – helping people to eat more apples.

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