In the Wednesday session at FMI Connect, “Power of Fresh: Leveraging shopper trends in meat and produce,” Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics pointed to organic as one of the lasting trends in fresh departments.

“No matter how I look at organic, it’s growing,” she said.

Thirty-four percent of consumers report that they’ve bought organic meat or poultry in the last three months and 56% percent of consumers said they’ve bought organic produce, according to insights from the Power of Meat report and the new Power of Produce report.

“Not only are we seeing high penetration in produce, which tends to be the area where people buy organic first. We’re seeing a growing number of people entering the segment,” Roerink said, noting that while there was a plateau on new organic consumers during the recession, interest picked up as the economy improved.

Although the organic beef segment is small, it’s grown 219% from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2014, according to data from IRI. Organic chicken grew 87% and natural pork was up 75%.

Local foods, on the other hand, resonate with a larger consumer base.

“Local I think is going to be an enormous trend. It already is and I think it’s going to be even bigger in years to come. Bigger than organic,” she said.

Before, customers usually expected local foods to come within 100 miles, Roerink said, but after the recession the expectation moved to expect local foods to come from the same state.

Forty-two percent of consumers said they were very interested in locally sourced meat and poultry, and 47% said they were interest in locally sourced produce, according to the Power of Produce and Power of Meat 2014 studies.


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“One of the main reasons why people like local is to support the local economy. So introduce that farmer. Introduce the fact that the cows are grazing on local pastures.”

More customers are purchasing chilled and hot prepared foods, she said. 

“They’re big amongst smaller households, high-income households, people that have dual working jobs, people with kids who are eternally lacking for time.”

Marinated meats, pre-cut fruit, fruit snack packs have all seen double- or triple-digit growth, but like organic categories, the segments are still small.

“Only 42% sometimes or regularly buys these items [value-added produce] so we still have a huge part of the population that we can try to push into these categories.”

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