The Southeast Produce Council (SEPC) in conjunction with 210 Analytics released What’s New: The Consumer Take on Produce Innovation and Technology 2021 in one of two educational sessions at its fall show, Southern Innovations.
“Southern Innovations has always focused on the latest and greatest in fresh produce retailing and foodservice,” says David Sherrod, president and CEO of SEPC. “This year, we wanted to highlight innovations throughout the supply chain from farm to menu through the eyes of the consumer. After all, it is the shopper who drives change in produce purchases and consumption. Together with 210 Analytics, we conducted in-depth consumer research to understand sentiments about anything from farm-direct sales to drones and self-checkout to air fryers. Having a solid understanding of where consumers weigh in will help the fresh produce industry with vital innovation and technology decisions in months and years to come.”
There are four areas of focus for the Southern Innovations show: for the planet, at the farm, in the store and on the menu. Exhibitors are encouraged to highlight innovations in each area and presentations will take place throughout exhibit hours.
“When comparing the consumer input on innovation, we have seen throughout the supply chain to sales growth trends that it is clear fresh produce sales patterns are closely interwoven with technology and innovation,” says Anne-Marie Roerink, president of 210 Analytics.
“Technology has enabled easier engagement and better communication with consumers who are increasingly looking for the how, what, where and why behind the produce they buy. At the same time, product innovation is driving operational efficiencies, labor solutions and sales gains for the category.”
The study is commissioned by the SEPC and conducted by 210 Analytics based on a consumer sample of 1,500 shoppers fielded in mid-August 2021. For top findings of the report, click here.