National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

Responding to an issue ripped from the headlines, check out the "official" Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group poll:

Should the USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program be opened up to include dried, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables?


The options:


1. Yes

2. No

3. Only add dried


So far, three votes and three different answers.


Another poll that has been quite active and continues to get comments is the question,


What's the biggest drag on consumer demand for fresh fruits and vegetables?


With an astounding 57 votes and 29 comments, there is no lack of opinion even though there is some difference of opinion.

At 50% of the votes, "price" is seen by most as the biggest obstacle to greater consumer demand. Retailers also received some heat, as evidenced by these three recent comments:


Steve commented:

Retailers setting store price too high to meet corporation profit margin expectations no matter farm gate price. New reality retailer biz model, high margins, low volume.

Overall unwillingness (read too lazy) to set up WOW traffic driver promotions like the good ole days..


Kelly wrote:

I believe it's a combination of price and quality. Many retailers do not have experienced produce employees, but settle for the bag boy with no training to present a fresh department to the consumer. The price doesn't match the quality being presented.


Iggy said:

I couldn't agree more with many of the comments above; that the success of selling fruits & veggies is directly dependent on the ability of grocery retailers, growers, and 3rd party providers (ie. recipe publishers, other startup ventures, etc.) to connect perishables with recipes/meal preparation. Another critical point that is overlooked, is that meal planning for a large majority of consumers needs to take place at home BEFORE the point-of-purchase. The ability to plan a meal "on the go" (while at a store or farmers market) still represents a very small sub-segment of the US population.


TK: About ten more days of voting, so check out the varied responses and find one to refute -- or agree -- with.