More than any other fruit they buy, consumers consider grapes a snack food, according to the California Table Grape Commission.

Consumers see grapes as snacks, research findsResearch by the Fresno-based commission found 74% of shoppers bought grapes for between-meal snacks, and 82% of mothers surveyed bought them for their children for the same purpose.

The 16 different shopper types identified by the commission can be classified in two main groups: 45% are impulse buys and 55% are planned ahead. Altogether, 33% of shoppers always decide to buy grapes before entering the store.

The commission recommends retailers aim pricing for a middle range after finding more than half of shoppers cited price as a purchase reason. Consumers are put off by prices that seem too low as well as those that appear too high, the research found. Even so, 40% said they buy fresh fruit if they want it, regardless of price.

Two-thirds of consumers studied said signs indicating grapes are on sale is an incentive to purchase them. Forty percent agreed that they read signs to learn more about the nutritional benefits of specific fruits.

The practice of sampling divided consumers; 38% sample from the bag while in the store, but many still consider it unethical or illegal, the commission found.

Clean and attractive displays were identified as an incentive to impulse purchases.