The International Fresh Produce Association Retail Conference, June 9-10 in suburban Chicago, was well attended and tackled many vexing challenges for suppliers and grocery stores.
Inflation not only took the headlines for the Easter holiday, but also dominated everyday spending.
Inflation has reached a 40-year high and consumers are extremely aware.
The U.S. consumer price index increased +7.9% for the 12 months ending February 2022. This was the largest 12-month increase since July 1981, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Inflation is hitting consumers hard enough right now that price has risen to the top factor for them to purchase fresh produce, according to the latest Power of Produce report.
The 2022 Power of Produce was conducted by 210 Analytics and made possible by the Southeast Produce Council (SEPC), Invafresh and Yerecic Label. The report was presented at SEPC’s 2022 Southern Exposure conference.
Coronavirus concern levels among primary grocery shoppers have remained mostly flat between September 2021 and January 2022, according to the monthly primary shopper survey series by IRI.
A year ago, when I started writing the Focus on Fresh for the 2021 Know Your Commodity Guide, I had no idea we’d still be talking about the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on consumer spending habits in 2022. And yet, here we are.
The latest COVID-19 wave has not resulted in the same levels of concern as those early in the pandemic.
November 2021 picked up where October left off: grocery shopping and food consumption patterns remained in flux, especially as holiday purchases started much earlier.