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Young Shoppers Prefer Organic

Jun 28, 2011 by Brad Hanna under the Consumer Trends category with Comments are off for this post.

Millennials are surprising us across the board. According to a recent discussion at the United Fresh Produce Association’s 2011 convention and tradeshow, younger shoppers are willing to spend more money on produce if it’s organic.

The discussion was called “Lessons from the Front Line – Retail Produce Manager Award Winners??? and was moderated by Steve Lutz, executive vice president of the Perishables Group. According to Lutz, organic fruits and vegetables had merely a 2.6% dollar share of the entire produce category in 2005. Fast forward five years to 2010, where the dollar share rose to 5.4%. This increase indicates significant growth in the category and, interestingly enough, this growth took place during the recession.

Whereas price has been a barrier to the category in the past, it seems to not bother the younger audiences. Contrary to the older generations that continue to walk past the organic sections, younger shoppers are simply looking for products without pesticides and are willing to pay for it.

However, there is a price ceiling that should be considered. According to a product manager for a Jewel-Osco in the Chicago area, although they are willing to stretch their budgets here and there, there is usually 30- to 40-cent cap on the increased amount they’re willing to spend. With this thought in mind, department managers are hesitant to expand.

If you’re considering increasing the presence of organic products in your grocery stores, begin by talking with your consumers. Michael Crutchfield of Save Mart in AngelsCamp, California, says speaking directly to his shoppers has been a good strategy for building an organics section. Millennials want to be heard – here’s a great chance to listen to what they have to say.

Photo credit: Walmart Stores

by Brad Hanna under the Consumer Trends category with Comments are off for this post.