TODAY’S consumers are well informed thanks to the power of modern marketing but they still want to buy value for money.
That was the key take home message from marketing expert, John Said, of Fresh Select, at Fairfax Agriculture Media’s Food Heroes event held at Koala Farms earlier this month.
Fresh Select supplies supermarket giant Coles, as well as the export market, with a variety of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts grown in Victoria, South Australia, and in Queensland at Gatton and Cambooya.
“We know consumers say vegetables are one of the most expensive items they purchase, and they shop for specials,” said Mr Said.
“But they also want value, and they want freshness.”
“At Fresh Select our crops are harvested, quality checked and vacuum cooled in just 20 minutes.
“The faster the cooling means the fresher the produce, before it is stored at a optimum temperature waiting for transport to the customer.
Mr Said believes vegetable growers should stop thinking about shelf life and start thinking about home life.
“While consumers have great respect for farmers, we need to know more about portion size,” he said.
“We need to know what size portion is, and is it something consumers can use all of it in one meal.”
Another point Mr Said was keen to make was the need to value-add as more consumers demanded convenience.
But he said decisions around value adding needed to be considered carefully with consumers front of mind.
“We need to make certain that the product is one the customer wants value-added, and don’t over value the product,” he said.
“Products that are packaged give a cleaner product and better presentation.
“As an example with packaged Cos and Baby Gem lettuce, it is more appealing and has a better shelf life, you can replace it back into the bag and seal for freshness. Also florets of cauliflower and broccoli packaged ready to microwave are of value.”