Supermarket Perimeter - September 2022 - 11

F
resh produce, more than any other department - fresh or centerstore
- plays the biggest role in helping consumers decide which
brick-and-mortar grocery store to shop.
If your department brings them in via their eyes and keeps them
there by engaging their other senses and their minds, chances are
you've got a successful store.
But retail fresh produce is at a crucial juncture in its history,
said Bruce Peterson, president of Bentonville, Ark.-based Peterson
Insights Inc. How it responds to this moment will play a huge role in
determining whether it continues to enjoy its coveted status.
At the height of COVID, online shopping - including for fresh fruits
and vegetables - soared. Will online produce sales continue to expand?
That's the million-dollar question retailers are facing, Peterson said.
Older shoppers will continue to buy their produce predominantly
in brick-and-mortar sales, but there's probably no changing younger
consumers' shift toward online.
" I think produce departments are very vulnerable, " Peterson said.
One reason is that, traditionally, buying fresh fruits and vegetables has
always been a sensory experience. You see it, smell it, squeeze it and
maybe even taste it before you buy it. How your senses react at point-ofsale
is enormously important, and there are numbers to prove it.
" About 80% of produce sales are made on impulse in the store, "
Peterson said.
Online shopping, by contrast, is an intellectual experience. Another
contrast: produce departments are designed to make people slow down
and take their time picking out their fresh fruits and veggies. That's the
opposite, Peterson pointed out, of how most people shop online.
Brick-and-mortar produce departments are also facing serious
labor-related problems. For starters, there's the worker shortage that's
affecting so many industries worldwide right now. On top of that, the
supermarketperimeter.com
THINK FARMERS MARKETS
Retailers looking to make their produce departments
stand out would do well to imitate the farmers market
model, which is making a big comeback, said AnneMarie
Roerink, principal of San Antonio-based 210
Analytics.
" During the first pandemic year, many farmers'
markets and fruit stands were closed, and all those
dollars ended up in traditional channels, " Roerink said.
" Farmers' markets are back with a vengeance and it
seems each time I go to check one out, it has doubled
in size or is now open multiple times a week. "
The lesson for retailers? People love farmers and the
fun of farmers' markets, Roerink said. That means
meet-the-grower events, having unexpected items,
local and experiential elements are important to create
that same vibe.
" There are even some retailers that do mini farmers'
markets in their parking lots on the weekends, " she said.
SEPTEMBER 2022 - 11
Merchandising
inspiration
YELYZAVETA - STOCK.ADOBE.COM
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Supermarket Perimeter - September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - September 2022

Supermarket Perimeter - September 2022 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2022 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2022 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2022 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2022 - 4
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