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Industry analyst and consultant Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics is an expert on marketing produce from farm to retail. Her travels take her to stores around the world. Every week in SPW, Anne-Marie shares one of her favorite retail displays or grower marketing success stories with a photo and her thoughts on why these are Ideas Ripe For The Picking.
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In addition to value-added produce, meal kits at retail are another great way to drive produce consumption while playing into the convenience megatrend.
Taking a page from the online subscription meal kit companies, retailers are starting to venture into the in-store meal kit space. Capitalizing on consumer desires for fast and fresh, in-store meal kits generated $154.6 million in sales in 2017, posting growth of more than 26% year-over-year, according to Nielsen.
Nielsen found that out of the 9% of Americans who have bought a meal kit, 6% have purchased exclusively online. And as a result, online meal kit companies are seeing tremendous growth.
Nielsen looked some more into avid meal kit buyers and found that 26% classify themselves as gourmet cooks compared with only 16% of U.S. consumers overall – highlighting the notable appeal of meal kits to this consumer segment.
This opens the door for the produce industry to introduce shoppers to new fruits and vegetables by ways of meal kits, which reduce typical new item trial barriers by clear step-by-step preparation instructions.
Importantly, this provides an opportunity for shoppers to gain knowledge and skills, often resulting into buying across a wider selection of produce items down the road. And that’s a scenario in which we all win, consumers, retailers and growers/shippers.
Anne-Marie Roerink specializes in quantitative and qualitative market research. Prior to launching 210 Analytics, she served as the Director of Research for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).