06 Aug Insider View: July 2015
…… with suppliers keen to exploit the provenance of locally grown fresh produce.
Summer is a classic time for retailers to showcase their Fresh Produce, something that can make a real difference to customer perceptions, especially as this is usually the first aisle visited when entering the store. Fresh produce is equally important for the internet shopper, but the medium has traditionally been a barrier for some, due to concerns over the quality and freshness of fresh produce selected on their behalf (“I’m worried it will be near the end of the shelf life”*). But perceptions are changing; regular internet shoppers claim supermarkets are getting better at delivering optimum freshness. Part and fully prepared fruit and vegetables are other growth areas, with naming the provenance of key ingredients increasingly popular (this month alone we have Scottish raspberries, Belgian chocolate, Kenyan coffee and Andalusian Olives). Farmers across the UK are diversifying to grow a variety of crops previously only imported from more exotic climes. The Sunday Times** recently celebrated what promises to be a bumper crop of British Apricots – a fruit traditionally rarely been grown North of Southern France. From Kentish apricots and olives to East Anglian kidney, cannellini and fava beans, the change in climate and the availability of new varieties better adapted to cooler nights, means that more and more British farmers are changing what they grow. A powerful incentive is falling prices of traditional crops and an increased demand for the differentiated. The popularity of alternatives to traditional grains has encouraged more farmers to enter the lucrative ‘superfood’ market. Essex farmers are struggling to match demand for their Quinoa, while Sharpham Park in Somerset continues to extend their range of Spelt based products. Meanwhile British raspberries are up 31% on last season and this year also looks a good one for British cherries. The future has never looked more exciting for British Fresh Produce.
*Grocery Shopper Survey June 2015 – Sample 103 plus Qualitative Group Discussions. **The Sunday Times 12.07.15
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A TASTE OF CONSUMER OPINION. . .
- Who’s laughing now? Cheese cravings were satisfied by The Laughing Cow with their pack of 24 cheese cubes: portion controlled and suited to any snacking occasion (Product of the month Review 150720). No wonder it got a maximum 50 rating.
- Who would have expected Gnocchi con Gorgonzola e Spinaci from Birds Eye to Stir the Senses (Review 150701) and achieve a top quartile rating?
- Young’s new fish brand failed to match its Funky branding (Review 150714) – ‘watery and bland’. But Tesco Battered Chicken Strips set a new category maximum (Review 150706)
- Another new sub-brand, this time from M&S – The Grill – generated much excitement but went on to disappoint. Find out what went wrong…. (Review 150729)
- Meanwhile Tesco launches a Finest Free From cake range to much acclaim (Review 150723) and a new branded dairy free spread from Koko (150719) also showed mainstream potential (Review 150719)