Vincent Dolan, Total Produce discussing new consumer research in fruit and vegetable sector

"We need to know why consumers are not eating fruit and vegetables"

Total Produce is one of the sponsors of the new initiative 'Consumer Compass' being carried out by Freshfel. The behaviour behind consumers fruit and vegetable consumption is examined in this initiative. During the Freshfel European Policy Meeting Vincent Dolan from Total Produce said that the market research was set up with Freshfel and many other promoters from within the sector. "We have realized that we do not know our consumers. This is something we have to change."

Hidden Motives
"The European research is being led by the fruit and vegetable sector. We are going to be looking at 'hidden' motives, and not at 'why' people do or do not choose to buy fruit and vegetables." He showed a movie about the dangers of child obesity. "Three-thirty in the afternoon is when most people snack, and our competitors that sell unhealthy food products play into this very well. We need to make sure that parents are making the right decisions for their children."

From the perspective of the sector
"After a SWOT on the fruit and vegetable sector we saw that out market research was not enough. We do not know our market as well as we know our competitors." Consumer Compass 2015 is not just another study. We have invested in expertise. This means that we are also looking from the perspective of the fruit and vegetable sector. We are looking for the hidden motives that consumers do not want to admit to. Implementation of this research is being carried out by the Rheingold Institute in Germany."

"Consumer Compass 2015 is consistent with the size and quality of a comparable FMCG study. We will interview 6000 European consumers in 12 European countries. People in the government, marketers from the sector and health promoters are all behind this study. In fact, everyone who spends money on promoting the fruit and vegetable sector is behind this study."

"You can think of a lot of reasons why people are not consuming fruits and vegetables, or why they are consuming so little.
The study handles three main areas:
- underlying feeling of the fruit and vegetable sector
- motivation, barriers, and things that stimulate consumption
- How consumers interpret the health message sent from the fruit and vegetable sector
"We want to know what happens when a consumer walks to the refrigerator, sees strawberries and snickers, and then chooses the snickers. Also: what do they think about the message we are sending? Does it not come through anymore? Do they already know it? Are we promoting in the wrong way? Like medicine for example?"

"This study is costing around half a million Euro. "Right now we already have five sponsors: Total Produce, Univeg, Compagnie Fruitiere, Dole and Fyffes. That is a strong start, but we still need more sponsors if we want to realize all our goals for this project."

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