Posts Tagged “food trends”

The Silent Generations Influence on Produce Consumption

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AAA7By Category Partners

Idaho Falls, ID —  With a perpetual buzz surrounding how to respond to millennial and Gen Z needs, it seems one of today’s key generations often is overlooked in the retail world of the silents.

Shaped early by the Great Depression and WWII , and today, by smaller households and older age “this generations has a waste not, want not attitude and demand for quality, simplicity and traditional values, are apparent in their behaviors and attitudes toward produce shopping. These insights were revealed in the recent Barriers to Purchase (BTP) study, which surveyed 4,000 produce shoppers nationwide, evenly split among millennial, Generation X, baby boomer and silent generations.

Unlike their younger counterparts, silent are ages 72-89 and aren’t as swayed by the rise of new food trends and technologies and  to a degree price. Yet, they embody strong preferences (arguably more so than millennials) toward the what, where, when, why and how, of produce planning, shopping and eating.

The silent generation is fascinating, as the factors influencing their produce-selection process are truly representative of life stages and experiences  and “perhaps to a greater degree than other generations,”  said Cara Ammon, principal of Beacon Research Solutions, BTP co-administer.  “They were raised to stretch their dollars the furthest, so they want the greatest return on their investments, as it relates to quality and shelf life. They live in smaller households and are averse to waste, therefore leaning toward smaller packages and bulk. And, they want to extend their years, so health and nutrition weigh heavily in their purchasing decisions.”


Indeed, of all generations, silents are most turned off by the top overarching barriers to produce purchasing , price, quality, spoiling, variety not available and package size too large.

When it comes to purchase drivers, silents are most influenced by:

–Quality/appearance (including ripe fruit)


–Locally grown (in contrast, least concerned about natural and organic)

–Bulk/smaller package size

–Better vegetable selection


Silents, unsurprisingly, take a traditional approach to mapping their produce shopping, as they are most likely to use circular ads/store flyers; and least likely to use all other planning resources, especiallyfood/recipe websites, social media, blogs and TV. That said, they also are more inclined than other generations to not plan their produce purchases.

Regardless, once they are ready to shop, silents are prone to buying fruits and veggies in a supermarket/grocery store, mass merchandiser or discount grocery store.


Silents tend to stick to traditional meal occasions when eating produce, and particularly dinner for vegetables and an evening snack for fruits. Similarly, they are least likely to eat fruits and vegetables as a morning/afternoon snack or for lunch.

And, don’t expect to find silents in the kitchen longer than necessary, as they are most likely to prepare heat-and-eat meals and avoid cooking; though, they prefer to eat at home more frequently than other generations.

About Category Partners: a nationally recognized resource, among produce companies and retailers, for delivering actionable business/consumer insights, marketing/sales plans and technology/data solutions. Category Partners is grower/shipper owned and headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID, with offices in Denver, Atlanta and Laguna Hills, CA.

About Beacon Research Solutions: a leading consumer research and data analysis firm, who works with clients to deliver need-based insights. Beacon’s methods for identifying and evaluating key business insights, include: consumer surveys; focus groups; syndicated research; category reviews; trade research; in-store testing; loyalty card data analysis and promotion/pricing analysis.

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Sweet Potato Popularity is Showing Considerable Growth

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sweetpotatoesby Jennifer Bond, USDA Economic Research Service

Chances are that if you order a side of fries at a restaurant, you need to specify whether you’re asking for white potatoes or sweet potatoes. Food trends that support the consumption of more healthful, colorful and unique foods have helped to encourage sales of sweet potatoes in the form of fries, chips, ready-to-cook and heat-and-eat preparations, expanding consumption of the orange tuber well beyond the holiday table.

Domestic consumption of sweet potatoes has grown considerably since 2000 with annual per capita availability (a proxy for consumption) rising from 4.2 pounds to reach a record-high 7.5 pounds in 2015. The marked rise in domestic demand has been encouraged by promotion of the health benefits of sweet potatoes – rich in vitamins A and C, high in fiber. Expanded demand has also been supported by the increasing variety of sweet potato products available in restaurants and for home preparation.

To meet rising demand, sweet potato production has increased substantially in recent years, achieving a record-high production of 3.1 billion pounds in 2015. The 2015 harvest was a high-water mark in a 15-year trend of expansion that began in 2000 when U.S. production was just 1.3 billion pounds. In 2014 and 2015, sweet potato production increased by an average of about six percent per year.

Beyond U.S. borders, consumers are increasingly enjoying sweet potatoes and, like North Carolina, several of the other key growing States enjoy access to southern ports that provide a locational advantage for meeting export demand. With expanded sales to markets that include Canada and the United Kingdom, aggregate U.S. exports have steadily risen in recent years in parallel with climbing domestic demand.

In 2015, U.S. sweet potato exports reached a record-high 409 million pounds and exports for 2016 are poised to reach approximately the same level. Both internationally and here in the U.S., sweet potatoes are increasingly becoming a colorful addition to holiday-and everyday-dining tables.


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