Tuesday, October 19, 2010 by Kathy Means

Fresh Summit: Produce is the value in the meal

At Fresh Summit, PMA revealed its new research that details what it costs consumers to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables (or 4.5 cups), the recommended amount for healthy adults. Depending on how intent a consumer is on finding bargains, s/he can get nine servings for $2.18 (not very intent), $1.40 (fairly intent), or 88 cents (very intent). This research from the Perishables Group debunks the idea that eating healthfully (healthfully = full complement of fresh produce in this case) is expensive.

PMA undertook this research to give members the tools to counter the idea that fresh produce is for those who are well-off. It shows that produce is the ultimate value meal, and it gives our members outstanding marketing messages and merchandising opportunities to appeal to all consumers. But this information is important to many beyond the industry – consumers, consumer advocates, legislative and regulatory officials, health advocates, and more. We’ll be working to get the word out. We hope you will use this information proactively to let consumers know how affordable fresh produce is. And you can use it reactively whenever you see a report that implies fresh produce is out of reach of certain consumers.

A recurrent theme at Fresh Summit in Orlando was that we need to tell our story – we need to be in charge of those messages. With this research, you have what you need. The implications are important:

  • Even at ‘everyday’ prices, produce is a great value – at $2.18 for nine servings.
  • This value is consistent across the U.S., all year, even with great variety.
  • Price-conscious consumers can save nearly 35% by focusing on lower-cost categories every day, getting nine servings for $1.40.
  • Budget consumers can save over 60% by focusing purchases on ‘sale or promoted’ items when shopping, and get that amount for 88 cents.

Help us get the word out. Use this to boost your connection with consumers, to tell your story, and to boost your sales.

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