SEPC Education Sessions Reveal Technological Innovation – Blue Book Production

Nashville, TN – Today, Southeast Production Council (SEPC) BB#: 191194 what’s new? From a consumer point of view 2022 In one of two educational sessions at the fall show, Southern Innovations.

“Only 12% of consumers meet the recommended daily amount of fresh produce,” said David Sherrod, President and CEO of SEPC. “This means there is plenty of room for growth. We looked at how technology and innovation on the farm, in the store, on the menu and on the planet can help consumers increase their consumption of fresh produce. Exhibitors were encouraged to highlight innovations in each department and what’s new? Theatrical performances were presented Silent throughout the exhibition hours by leading organizations.

The most important results for each of the four sections of the research are as follows.

On the farm

The majority of consumers (74%) are unaware of how farmers use the technology, but four in 10 are interested in visiting a field, farm or greenhouse. In addition, half of consumers like the idea of ​​small greenhouses in the store or in the restaurant. This is due to 55% of consumers wanting to know more about how the fresh produce they buy is grown. The best ways to communicate, according to consumers, are the package label (57%), information on the brand’s website or app (47%) and in-store signage (42%).

“Most importantly, the study found that innovation can help drive sales growth,” Sherrod explained. “More than half of consumers are interested in new varieties.”

New mixed varieties and new sizes, such as one-part broccoli or baby avocado, attract the most interest. In addition, 46% of consumers are intrigued by the idea of ​​the functional enhanced benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as extra vitamin C, longer shelf life or tear-free onions. Sherrod notes: “Boomers are more likely to think this is a bit of science fiction but 54% of Generation Z who grew up in a world full of claims and labels like the idea.”

In store

Sherrod pointed out that “the study found that competition for fresh products is much broader than competition for frozen and canned products.” “Supplements, juices, squeeze bags, picks, and central store items that promote vegans, all reduce sales of fresh produce.” Sherrod cites 81% of consumers who believe these types of items can help them reach the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.

Serving size education is attracting worldwide interest, with 50% of consumers and 42% like the idea of ​​their grocery store offering personalized nutrition programs. In addition to portion size guidelines, consumers want to see nutrition information, specific health benefits, and origin and preparation/storage instructions.

Consumers also strongly believe in the link between fresh produce and their health. While awareness of medicinal products is low, 20% and 53% believe that fresh produce can help manage health issues.

Promotions remain very important, with in-store signage, applications and digital circulars replacing paper advertising as the most important search area. Routine meals are off and consumers look to a variety of sources for recipe and meal ideas, including a strong interest in recipes to shop for (46%).

on the list

The high level of inflation is putting pressure on restaurant trips and prompting 52% of consumers to change their orders when buying from restaurants, whether it’s takeaway, delivery or dining on the premises. 60 percent look for cheaper items on the menu, 54 percent skip desserts, 44 percent skip appetizers and 44 percent go to a cheaper restaurant altogether.

Consumers also showed a strong interest in a number of ways to boost consumption of fresh produce in restaurants: 71% were interested in a trip to the complementary salad bar of a main restaurant; 65% would like to see drinks/juices made with fresh fruit/vegetables on the menu; 63% are interested in fresh fruit as a dessert or appetizer option; And 60% like the idea of ​​being able to replace traditional carbohydrates like pasta or rice with vegetables.

“The study also found consumer interest in crossing trends seen in retail into restaurant menus,” Sherrod noted. “Seasonal and local fruits and vegetables are the most important areas of interest in retail and also top the list of desirable menu attributes for food services.” However, in the current inflationary environment, 49% of consumers feel that the best cost and quality should be a priority for the restaurant – overtaking the original, including global sources. Consumer agreement on restaurants using fresh versus frozen or canned produce is much higher, at 72%. And 54% would love to see more unique fresh produce on the menu.

Using technology to order and pay for food in restaurants is becoming more accepted, but the idea of ​​robots taking food out instead of a server is just a great idea with consumers: 31% simply can’t imagine the concept and 26% say they can’t stand the idea.

for the planet

Four out of 10 Americans experience spoilage of fruit and vegetables before they can eat them and 91% end up throwing some fresh produce away. In addition, 37% of fresh produce sold in packages that are too large suffer on their household.

“With a clear problem with food waste in the home, 46% of Americans like the idea of ​​various shelf life technologies,” Sherrod said. “Consumers want to know the impact on food safety, nutrition and taste, but are excited to see solutions.”

Consumers say commitments to reduce food and packaging waste, give back to the community and support private causes are important and could affect purchases among just over half. While quality and freshness are the main drivers of buying among Boomers, sustainability is the main driver for 35% of Generation Z. However, at most 16% of consumers remember product brands that have made commitments in these areas.

“In fact, almost every brand that produces and every retailer has sustainability commitments,” Sherrod said. “However, consumers don’t know. We have an opportunity to do good and build positive feelings among consumers at the same time.”

The study was conducted online on 1,500 consumers and presented by 210 Analytics. The study began in July 2022.

SEPC logoAbout the Southeast Production Council

The Southeast Production Council (SEPC) is a member-driven, not-for-profit association made up of more than 3,000 leaders from all aspects of the production industry. Formed over 20 years ago to promote the value of fresh fruits and vegetables in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia through communication, innovation, community, and education. Today, SEPC is a thriving organization that continues to share and pursue its vision, mission, values ​​and goals. Learn more by visiting www.seproducecouncil.com.

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