Artichokes

Artichokes were among the least-purchased items in the Fresh Trends 2019 survey; only Asian pears were lower on the list.

Shoppers in the West where the spiky vegetable is grown were the most likely overall to buy artichokes, a trend now in its seventh year. Midwestern shoppers were among the least likely to choose artichokes overall, followed by African American consumers.

Income also clearly plays a role in artichoke purchases, as this is at least the sixth consecutive year that the likelihood of purchase has increased according to income.

Forty-four percent of buyers said they purchased baby artichokes in the past year, while 47% said they did not.

Sixteen percent of buyers said they always selected organic artichokes, down from 18% who said so last year. Forty percent of buyers said they purchased organic artichokes at least some of the time. 

Fresh Trends

 

Asparagus

Income and age clearly play a role in asparagus purchases. The likelihood of a purchase increased according to both factors, making the most affluent shoppers and the oldest consumers surveyed the most likely to buy the spring vegetable overall. 

More shoppers are embracing these slim stalks, as they were the No. 2 item that shoppers said they are buying now that they did not buy previously. (The same was true last year.)

Families without kids were a bit more likely to buy asparagus, at 33%, than those with kids, at 31%, but the likelihood of a purchase increased as the number of children in the home grew.

Western shoppers have been more likely to grab asparagus than those in other regions for the past six years. As was the case last year, consumers on both coasts were more likely to make a purchase than those in the Midwest or South. Hispanic shoppers and those earning less than $25,000 annually were the least likely to buy.

One-tenth of buyers said they always bought organic asparagus. Three in 10 shoppers said they picked up organic product at least some of the time, a number up two percentage points from last year. 

Avocados

This creamy green fruit was the No. 1 item that consumers said they are buying now that they did not buy previously. Survey numbers reflect this fact, as the year-to-year change in the likelihood of purchase jumped seven percentage points from Fresh Trends 2018 (making it the commodity with the highest increase over last year).

This versatile fruit appeals to several specific demographics. Hispanic consumers were the standout—more than two-thirds of these shoppers said they purchased avocados in the past year, and that group has been the most likely to purchase avocados overall for six consecutive years.

Western shoppers consistently are top purchasers of avocados. For 11 years, these shoppers have been more likely to buy this green fruit than those in any other region.

Income is a third determining factor for avocado purchases—the likelihood of a purchase increased according to income for the 11th year in a row.

Thirteen percent of buyers said they always opted for organic avocados, a number up one percentage point from last year. Thirty-seven percent said they purchased organic product at least some of the time; last year 38% said so.  

Broccoli

Although this cruciferous vegetable is not new, a new crop of consumers has embraced it. Broccoli tied with bell peppers as the No. 3 produce item that shoppers said they bought in the past 12 months that they had not purchased previously. This marks the third year that broccoli has ranked at the top of this list.

The likelihood of a broccoli purchase increased according to income and age. In fact, the most affluent shoppers and the oldest shoppers surveyed were among the most likely to buy broccoli overall, along with those in the “all other” demographic group. African American consumers and Hispanic shoppers were among the least likely to buy.

While most people opt for conventionally grown broccoli, nearly one-third of buyers said they purchased organic product at least some of the time (last year 34% said so). Eleven percent said they always bought organic broccoli.

Celery

The likelihood of a celery purchase inched up two percentage points from last year.

This stalky vegetable is clearly preferred by older consumers. The oldest shoppers surveyed (those age 59 and older) were the most likely overall to buy the green stalks, while those age 39 and younger comprised the group least likely to buy, according to Fresh Trends 2019. The likelihood of a purchase increased according to both age and income, as was the case last year. 

For the fourth straight year, families without kids living at home were more likely to buy celery than those with kids. 

Caucasian consumers tend to prefer celery over those of other ethnicities, particularly Hispanic shoppers, who were among the least likely to buy the vegetable overall.

Most shoppers purchased conventionally grown celery, but more than one-quarter of buyers (27%) said they purchased organic product at least some of the time (up two percentage points from last year). Eleven percent of celery buyers said they always selected organic product. 

Brussels sprouts

These bite-sized cruciferous vegetables are popular among certain select groups of consumers, including affluent shoppers, Westerners and older consumers. The likelihood of a Brussels sprouts purchase increased according to income for the sixth consecutive year, and consumers in the highest income bracket comprised the group most likely to buy the sprouts overall. Shoppers age 50 and older were quite a bit more likely to buy Brussels sprouts than younger shoppers, as was the case last year.

Families without kids at home were more apt to make a purchase than those with kids. One-fifth of shoppers across most of the country bought Brussels sprouts in the past year, with the exception of those in the West, where 29% said they made a purchase.

Interest in organic Brussels sprouts is growing. Fifteen percent of buyers said they always bought organic sprouts, up four percentage points from last year and nearly double from what shoppers reported in Fresh Trends 2017. Twenty-seven percent of buyers said they picked up organic Brussels sprouts at least some of the time. 

Green beans

For 10 consecutive years, the likelihood of a green bean purchase has increased according to income. In fact, consumers earning more than $100,000 annually were the most likely overall to buy the vegetable, and they were more than twice as likely to make a purchase as those in the lowest income bracket.

The likelihood of a purchase also generally increased according to income, with shoppers age 59 and older among the most likely to buy green beans overall.

This staple vegetable was popular with families—both with kids and without. Midwestern shoppers were less likely to buy the beans than those from other regions.

Hispanic shoppers were the least likely group overall to make a green bean purchase.

Interest in organic green beans didn’t change much over the past 12 months. Thirteen percent of buyers said they always grabbed organic green beans (12% said the same last year) and nearly one-third of buyers (32%) said they selected organic product at least some of the time. Asian consumers and those age 18-39 were the most likely to always buy organic green beans.  

Spinach

For the third consecutive year, shoppers in the top income bracket were about twice as likely to buy spinach as those earning less than $25,000 annually. This affluent group was far and away the most likely group to buy spinach overall, as was the case last year.

Consumers who were part of the “all other” ethnic group were among those most likely to buy this salad vegetable along with Asian consumers and those in their 40s.

Three in 10 shoppers said they preferred to purchase regular spinach, while 44% said they liked the more tender baby spinach better. Slightly more than one-quarter of buyers said they had no preference at all when it came to spinach variety. Nearly two-thirds of buyers opted for spinach as a salad, while 56% said they used the leafy greens as an ingredient in a recipe. Another 44% said they used spinach as a side dish to a meal.

Western shoppers were more likely to grab spinach than those in other regions.

When it came to organics, 15% of shoppers said they always bought organic spinach. Interest in periodic organic spinach purchases fell seven percentage points from last year, with 36% of shoppers saying they sought out organic spinach at least some of the time in Fresh Trends 2019.
 

 
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