- More than two-thirds of shoppers (68%) say they are disappointed with the fresh offerings at their grocery retailers, according to a new report from Blue Yonder.
- When it comes to product availability, 81% of shoppers are not content with what their grocery retailers offer.
- One of the key issues here is that if consumers feel they can't attain what they need from grocery stores, they will abandon their shopping cart entirely.
These statistics demonstrate a clear disconnect between what retailers perceive as their best fresh offerings and consumer demand. If retailers could better survey their customers, both happy and displeased, they could determine which areas are in most need of improvement in their particular store or chain. But organizing such a survey and convincing busy consumers to participate can be a challenge.
The logistics of providing better fresh products can be difficult for retailers. Much of the freshness factor relies on the quality of the shipment and the distance it had to travel. The rest often depends on the retailer's own warehouse storage system and shelf space, particularly the quality of refrigeration.
One option is to embrace the lack of freshness, particularly because trying to keep produce as "fresh" as possible could lead to unnecessary food waste. Instead of discarding less fresh produce, retailers could pull that produce to use for prepared meals in other in-store departments or create an "ugly" produce section with discounted products that consumers can buy.
Retailers can also start growing their own produce on site, redefining both "local" and "fresh." However, considering the store's location and climate and weather considerations, this may feed into availability issues.