Appearance and price are the main reasons for buying fresh produce.

Appearance and price are currently the most important reasons for consumers of fresh produce, according to data from the report ‘The fresh produce buyer’, drawn up by AECOC Shopperview in collaboration with Patatas Meléndez through its Meléndez X Frescos initiative. Thus, 79% of consumers look at the appearance of the products on the counter, while 76% also value the price before making their purchasing decision.

In the case of fruit and vegetables, consumers also value seasonal products, while for meat, buyers take into account the species of animal and for fish, that the product is fresh.

The study also shows that consumers prioritise bulk purchases of fresh produce over other formats. Thus, nine out of ten respondents say that they buy fruit and vegetables in bulk. In the case of fish, 80% also opt to buy the product on display at the fishmonger’s counter, while 52% also include packaged fish in their shopping basket. Finally, 72% of consumers say that they buy cut meat, while 60% also buy refrigerated packaged meat and 15% buy frozen packaged meat.

Change in consumer habits

The AECOC Shopperview report also highlights the changes in behaviour that the current inflation is producing in the purchase of fresh produce. Some 77% of consumers confirm that they have changed their habits and 62% say they are looking for more offers and promotions in the category.

In the search for savings, 57% of consumers are opting to buy less product and 33% prioritise buying in bulk or cut-up.

There is also a group of consumers who have not changed their shopping habits and are assuming the impact of inflation. In particular, two out of ten fruit and vegetable shoppers are maintaining their shopping basket, while 16% of fresh meat and fish consumers are also spending more on these products.

In addition to the changes brought about by inflation, the report shows that aspects such as sustainability continue to be relevant. Fifty-two percent of consumers look for fresh, local products, while 32% prioritise the purchase of food produced in an environmentally friendly way.

Outlook for Christmas

The survey also outlines some of the trends that will mark the consumption of fresh produce at Christmas. Once again, the price factor will condition behaviour and two out of three consumers will bring forward their meat or fish purchases to take advantage of offers and better prices.

Another trend shown in the report is the consumption of “premium” products during this period. In fact, four out of ten consumers say they will reduce the volume of meat and fish purchases, but in exchange, half of them will buy premium meat products and 40% will do the same with fish.

Convenience will be another relevant factor in Christmas shopping behaviour and 35% of consumers intend to buy ready meals, mainly meat, to avoid having to cook during the festive season.

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