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Shopper Insights: Get to consumers by getting who’s close to them

Consumers say social media influencers can get them to buy new types of fruits and vegetables.

But they can’t compare to the influence of friends and family.

In the Shopper Insights 2020 survey conducted by Moxxy Marketing BB #:341508 and Category Partners, respondents said they would be most swayed to buy a new type of fruit or vegetable based on a recommendation from family or friends (42 percent), food and recipe websites (35 percent) and then cooking shows on television (30 percent) and social media influencers (24 percent).

Broken down by demographics, every age range listed family or friends as the top factor in getting ideas for new types of produce to buy.
Those age 45-54 listed it strongest (48 percent compared to 36 percent as the next highest).

“The potential for increased sales and product trial, using marketing strategies that encourage sharing between friends and family, might be the most exciting insight from this study,” said Karen Nardozza, president and CEO of Moxxy Marketing.

“Especially during the pandemic when restaurant visits are way down and chef influence is mostly relegated to video and social media, now is the perfect time to create and activate programs that reward referrals from friends and family. Produce marketers may want to take that strategy a step further and focus on the age groups most likely to be swayed by those they trust most, such as Gen Xers.”

Social Influencers for the young
While every age group listed food or recipe websites as second largest influencer, for those 25-34, it was tied with social media influencer for second (both named by 42 percent of respondents).

Meanwhile that number decreased as the age groups rose to where it was named by only 7 percent of those in the 75+ age group.

“The impact that social media influencers deliver is worth the investment,” Nardozza said.

“Whether a marketer’s budget can afford a locally-focused home cook or an internationally known Hollywood celebrity, there’s an appropriate partnership for every brand. To be prepared to activate such an effective program, a brand’s social media channels need to be ready—and lack of preparedness is the biggest mistake we see in fresh produce marketing. I encourage fresh produce brands to realize the power and reach of their social media channels and treat them as the strategic communication tool they are.”

Not to be discounted, food and recipe websites were named second most often by every age group. The content creators on these sites often rely on grower-shippers for this information, both directly and from their websites, so this is an opportunity for every produce supplier.

“From Bon Appetit to Food Network, to Pinterest and The Produce Moms, food and recipe media and websites are a tried and true source for consumers seeking inspiration. Online sources cover the broadest range of influence across age groups. Fresh produce brands have better access to partner with media sources, content curators and creators than ever before to deliver quality and interesting information about products,” Nardozza said.

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services