The statistics are in, and no matter who is running the survey or how long current trends stick around, one thing is certain: Purchasing habits have been changing by the day since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now more than ever, consumers want to know their fresh produce is safe.
According to a recent survey by The Packer:
- 20% of consumers said they are buying less fresh produce now and more frozen fruits and vegetables
- 12% of consumers said they are buying less fresh produce and more canned
- 28% of consumers said they would like access to “all the information” retailers have so they know stores are on top of things.
Regardless of trends, helping consumers make well-informed, rational buying decisions that support their health and wellbeing is a mission everyone can get behind.
As a grower-shipper of fresh table grapes, Jasmine Vineyards places the highest of priority on food safety. But the company also shares this responsibility with everyone who comes into contact with their grapes—from the field crew that harvests the varieties of grapes to shoppers who buy and bring home fresh grapes for their families to enjoy.
So, if food safety is everyone’s responsibility, why not share some of those good handling and washing practices that growers and grocers know so well?
At the Jasmine Vineyards ranch, we have put added safety measures into practice and are working hard to document and share these practices with the public. Jasmine Vineyards is also working with several state and national fresh fruit associations to promote important messages, including Produce Marketing Association’s #JoyofFresh Consumer Campaign for Safe Produce.
The case where “more is better”
Are consumers going straight to the source to guide their grocery shopping habits during pandemic times? Are they getting reliable information? Across the board, the answer is “not necessarily”—and during a time when shoppers need reassurance, going so far as to put up signposts (literally and figuratively) could be a welcome addition to the produce landscape. This helps ensure consumers have easy access to reliable, accurate information.
Some excellent information factoids to consider showcasing include:
- Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. [Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)]
- Before eating, rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.
(Shopping for Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Information for Consumers, FDA)
- Rinse fresh vegetables and fruits under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking. Even if you plan to peel or cut the produce before eating, it is important to thoroughly rinse it first to prevent microbes from transferring from the outside to the inside of the produce. (10 Tips: Be Food Safe, ChooseMyPlate/USDA)
Another source that can be helpful for retailers is Always Use Food Safety Practices, a guide from the Partnership for Food Safety.
The bottom line? If “all the information” matters to 28% of individuals, retailers should display it for consumers.
To boost consumer confidence and grape sales even further, try these research-backed promotions.
A new season ushering in the new normal
With the 2020 California grape season kicking off, Jasmine Vineyards anticipates a summer of delicious, immune system-boosting, fresh table grapes for the produce aisle. As one of many family ranches located in the agricultural cornucopia of the San Joaquin Valley, we are also a strong supporter of California-grown produce. For suggestions on how Jasmine Vineyards can help retailers and customers feel safe buying fresh, California-grown grapes, visit jasminevineyards.com/wholesale.