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Do Consumers Purchase Fresh Produce Differently to Packaged Goods? Evidence From the United States

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Document pages: 16 pages

Abstract: Although both fresh produce and consumer packaged goods (CPG) are sold within supermarkets, there is little research comparing how consumers purchase them. To provide insights into this area of research, this study compares the frequency of buying fresh fruits and vegetables, the concentration of sales amongst consumer segments and the stability of those segments with what has been established in the CPG literature for decades. To achieve this, we analyze the Negative Binomial Distributions and Pareto shares (or the 80 20 rule) of the Nielsen panel data covering over 4,200,000 fresh produce purchases in the United States, between 2004 and 2016 and compare them to CPG studies. The results show that consumers purchase fresh produce in the same manner as CPG, that is, there are many more infrequent buyers and that the most frequent buyers contribute ~60 of sales (not the expected 80 ); furthermore, they purchase less frequently over time and contribute fewer sales. This implies that frequent buyers have limited potential in terms of growing the fresh produce category or their own consumption. Instead, fresh produce marketing campaigns should appeal to all buyers, especially, those who are not buying or buying infrequently, thereby growing their customer base, rather than the loyalty of their existing buyers.

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