Consumer purchasing and eating habits, emerging food trends, and demand for high-quality fresh produce all contribute to the quest to conceptualize and develop new varieties of fruits and vegetables. Developing new produce varieties helps drive innovation in our industry, and carrying them in your store can help your produce aisle stand apart from the rest. After all, variety is the spice of life and the produce aisle. Here are three ways that new varieties of fruits and vegetables can make an impact in your store and keep consumers coming back.
- Keep up with consumer trends and eating preferences Consumers continue to focus on healthy eating, and they also want easy-to-prepare foods. New varieties of fruits and vegetables are developed to provide the flavor and nutrition profiles consumers want. New varieties are also designed to align with consumers’ preferences for convenient, easy-to-enjoy items—like seedless watermelon or mini sweet peppers.
- Carry more high-quality fruits and vegetables New varieties can mean higher-quality produce goes to market. Think about, for example, the possibilities of new varieties of produce that are developed to have extended shelf life; varieties that yield firmer produce and make it easier for growers, packers, and others to handle from harvest to shelf; varieties that are more resistant to disease and pests; varieties that add higher yield and drought tolerance; or varieties that have shorter growing cycles or ripen earlier so they can get to market earlier in the season. And sometimes, it’s about aesthetics—like getting the perfect color or size. Some consumers eat with their eyes first, so it’s important to carry the varieties that appeal to their preferences.
- Add excitement with new, interesting options Continuously looking at food trends and consumption rates helps evolve categories—and our industry. The popularity of a particular fruit or vegetable can help catapult a positive reputation of a new variety of the commodity. New varieties can boast imaginative flavors, bold colors, or other interesting physical characteristics, which can help add a layer of excitement to your produce department.