Berries topped the list of growth categories in the fresh produce department last summer and it’s a broad range of consumers who bought them.
Research shows high income households are twice as likely to purchase raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. However, one quarter of households with annual incomes less than $45k also bought berries. So did more than 30% of medium income households.
In terms of basket size, consumers who purchased raspberries, blueberries and blackberries all spent significantly more in store than the average shopper. Shoppers who purchased raspberries last summer had an average basket size of $94.60, compared with an average basket containing fruit of $66.40.
With summer in full-swing, manufacturers and retailers who have a good understanding of this broad consumer set - and how to reach them - have a great opportunity to capitalise on this summer’s imminent growth. The key thing is to understand the consumer. With a price per kilo significantly higher than strawberries, it is a mistake to assume that lower income consumers will not purchase higher priced items in the category.
Consumers believe health attributes are important, and to a degree, they are willing to pay more for the benefits that healthy, convenient products provide. Given the high interest in healthier, “good-for-you” foods, it is an exciting time for the berry industry. Nielsen’s Global Health & Wellness Survey reports that nearly half of global respondents consider themselves overweight, with a similar cut of the population actively trying to lose weight by making healthier food choices.
The berry category was the fastest growing in the fresh produce department last summer, contributing 37% of all growth to fruit and vegetable category sales (including fruits, vegetables and nuts). Strawberries contributed the most in terms of additional value sales, however, the fastest growing berry product in dollar terms were blackberries (+122%) and raspberries (+34%).
The key drivers of this growth were an increase in the number of households buying berries and those households buying more frequently.
Summer is here and with it comes pallets of juicy and colourful, warm-climate fruits into our local retail stores. So it can be said that while growers who have innovated in the category will continue to reap rewards, so too will the retailers who work co-operatively with them to get ranging and promotional strategies right to meet the right consumers.