Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sensitize to Waste for Abnormal Produce

Historically, stores selling fruits and vegetables would prune out or send to the bargain basement unusually shaped produce. In the 1930’s, California orange packinghouses created special designations for fruit that was small or off-color. The lower-grade items had labels with names like Mutt and Camouflage. Still, the growers wanted to help retailers sell the fruit rather than having it put to waste. So taglines were developed: “The Quality is Inside.” “Not much for looks, but ripe, sweet, & juicy.”
     Now California farmers, who are a major supplier of fruits and vegetables to retailers throughout America and beyond, are finding it more challenging to select out oddly shaped items. Because of the severe drought in the state, crop yields may drop. There’s absolutely no taste for waste. At the same time, having less water for irrigation can affect the appearance of the produce.
     Results from a research project at Denmark’s Aarhus University suggest a way to increase retail sales of abnormally shaped food items: Sensitize shoppers to the importance of fully using what’s available.
     In the project, a sample of 964 people were chosen to be representative of produce consumers. Each member of the sample was asked to state their purchase intentions for two fruits and two vegetables with varying levels of shape abnormality.
     No significant differences were found in purchase intention between familiarly shaped items and items with moderately abnormal shapes. However, produce with a markedly abnormal shape was less likely to be purchased, according to what the sample consumers said. This effect was much less, though, among the consumers who were concerned about food waste in modern society.
     Beyond produce itself, abnormally shaped packages can cut into buying intentions. Researchers at University of Georgia and University of Pennsylvania asked consumers to evaluate packages designed to look incomplete. The result of this was a belief among the consumers that the package held a lower quantity compared to packages of equivalent size and weight, but without blanks in the design. It’s as if the missing portion generated feelings in the consumer that part of the contents had leaked out, leaving less behind.
     Importantly, research at University of Southern California finds that an unusually shaped container attracts attention, which can increase sales. So, coming back to the veggies, you might be able to turn around turnip concerns. Just point out how that misshapen veggie looks exactly like the Virgin Mary praying.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Punch Up Offerings with Distinctive Labeling
Blank Out to Increase Consumption

No comments:

Post a Comment