- Farmers markets may not be as big a threat to manufacturers as once thought, as nearly two-thirds of surveyed consumers (62%) said they hadn't purchased any produce from farmers markets in the last year, according to a recent Nielsen survey.
- About 3% of consumers said they purchased some produce through online grocers in the past year, while the vast majority (96%) said they didn't purchase any produce online during that time period.
- Nearly two-thirds (64%) of surveyed consumers said they are trying to buy healthier food, but Nielsen's findings suggest those foods are still coming from manufacturers and traditional grocery stores rather than alternative sources.
Despite the allure of local and farm-to-table products, fresh produce manufacturers don't have as much to worry about in terms of farmers markets redirecting purchasing habits. But in addition to major fresh produce manufacturers like Dole, Chiquita, and Fresh Del Monte Produce, this is also good news for packaged food manufacturers.
Though traditionally packaged food manufacturers, WhiteWave, Campbell, and McCormick have been pushing new products and brands located on the perimeter of the store.
Packaged food manufacturers also benefit by feeling more confident that consumers are still going to the grocery store for fresh produce — and anything else they need while in the store. Losing foot traffic to farmers markets could mean sales declines for center-store products.
Also, based on Nielsen's findings, if manufacturers want to shift their produce-based products into e-commerce channels, they have an uphill battle ahead. As fast as food and beverage e-commerce is growing, certain categories still struggle with the logistics, whether that's chocolate melting in transport or produce that's perceived to be not as fresh.