An effort by American consumers to eat healthier at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has driven sales in the produce department to hit nearly $70 billion in 2020, an 11.4% increase compared with the year before, according to the “2021 Power of Produce” report from FMI - The Food Industry Association.
The study includes results from a survey of grocery shoppers that found that shoppers during the pandemic were buying more produce to maintain a healthy diet, with 44% saying they put more effort into healthful eating during the pandemic. More than 70% said nutrition and health is a primary reason for purchasing fruits and vegetables, and 85% said they would like more information on the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables when shopping.
While the survey found 78% of respondents changing meal prep to include more fruits and vegetables, they’re looking for ways to cook them up. Currently, roughly 4 in 10 shoppers are relying on friends and family for meal inspiration, leaving room for sources like recipe websites, YouTube, and social media to find a way to inspire home cooks more.
Lastly, the report found shoppers are looking for value-added produce, such as pre-washed or cut fruits and veggies. The Power of Produce survey was conducted by 210 Analytics and made possible by the Southeast Produce Council, Burris Logistics and Yerecic Label.