SEPC president and CEO David Sherrod ( Southeast Produce Council )

The Power of Produce research study will again be revealed at an event organized by the Millen, Ga.-based Southeast Produce Council.

The research, commissioned by the Food Marketing Institute, will be unveiled at the SEPC’s March 7-9 Southern Exposure event, according to a news release. 

The Power of Produce research was first released in conjunction with an SEPC event in 2017, during a workshop at SEPC’s Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo.

This year, the research will be available March 8 to the more than 500 buyers and 2,000 suppliers attending Southern Exposure, according to the release.

“Our fourth exploration into the Power of Produce provides valuable data and consumer insights that support our grocery members’ strategies, sales and profits in a $60 billion category,” FMI vice president of fresh foods Rick Stein said in the release. 

“This year, we will unveil several surprises regarding how and where consumers are purchasing their produce and we’ll share shopper trends that are decidedly driving growth in the category: organic; locally grown; value-added; produce-based beverages; and private brand products. We are pleased to partner with such a distinguished group of industry professionals and debut this analysis at Southeast Produce Council Southern Exposure.”

The Power of Produce, according to the release, identifies the biggest trends in consumer purchasing and consumption of fruit and vegetables.

The research includes insights from consumers about planning their purchases, channel choice and preparation and recommendations to improve shopping the produce department. The 2019 edition also contains insights on hydroponics, plant-based beverages, packaging and local sourcing and aims to equip the produce industry with ideas to fuel growth, according to the release.

The analysis is conducted by 210 Analytics and supported by data from IRI and Nielsen, according to the release. The research is revealed exclusively during Southern Exposure, with support from Burris Logistics, Yerecic Label and the Southeast Produce Council, according to the release.

“We are thrilled to bring the Power of Produce debut to members of the Southeast Produce Council during Southern Exposure,” SEPC president and CEO David Sherrod said in the release. “FMI has built a reputation among our members as one of the most trusted sources in the supermarket business. This collaboration between our associations has been mutually beneficial to both groups, and we look forward to working on more projects with FMI in the future.”