Impact of the pandemic: people have changed the way they buy peaches

The nation may be emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the vestiges of the experience are not going away anytime soon when it comes to people’s peach-buying habits, and could in fact become permanent. for many, said the executive director of National Peach. Advice, Kay Rentzel.

She shared some statistics on people’s buying habits during the pandemic, such as 60% felt their buying habits had changed significantly, 45% increased the consolidation of shopping trips, there had a 25% decrease in unscheduled trips, ordered groceries for curbside pickup increased by 24% and deliveries increased by 20%, and monthly trips per person to supermarkets decreased by 10%.

“All previous in-store shoppers will not be coming back,” Rentzel says. “People no longer go out and pick up some things. Now they plan their groceries a lot better to avoid people in the grocery stores. “

Kay rentzel

These changes in habits will remain with many buyers. For example, the net change in in-store shopping visits is expected to decrease by 10%, deliveries increase by 5%, and curbside pick-up is expected to increase by 8%.

Such changes have unfortunate ramifications for peach growers and traders because of the nature of the product, Rentzel says.

“What we lack are the people who buy an impulse item. Someone walks into a grocery store, sees fresh peaches on display and will pick them up because of their fantastic aromas, ”she says. “We have to think outside the box on how we are going to reach the consumer. ”

Going forward, fisheries marketers will need to make sure to present a lot of information to online shoppers, for example. This could include recipes, nutritional information, and an emphasis on great photos. “People eat with their eyes,” says Rentzel.

There have been a few positives from the pandemic, such as the Farmers to Families Food Box program.

“We estimate that there were probably close to 30 million pounds of peaches sold through this particular sales branch in 2020,” she says. “It allowed us to put peaches in the mouths of a lot of families – children, adults, seniors – who hadn’t really had fresh peaches before.”

However, the fishing industry cannot depend on such programs in the future. What is essential is to recognize that things will never return to what was considered normal before COVID-19.

“Books will be written for years to come on what happened to the economy, the consumer psyche and how society
has changed – forever, ”says Rentzel. “The market has changed, the consumer has changed and we have to change with them. It is from these changes that we must identify opportunities to sell more peaches.


ALL IN THE FAMILY

You can’t be the largest producer of peaches on the East Coast without some marketing acumen, but Chalmers Carr also knows how to keep things copacific on the home front. You just can’t beat his line on the best fruit he grows: “A peach so special that I named it after my wife.”

Carr is president and CEO of Titan Farms, which he founded with his wife Lori Anne in Ridge Spring, South Carolina in 1999, according to a press release from the company. They grow, pack and ship 6,200 acres of peaches, as well as vegetables such as broccoli, peppers and eggplants.

The ‘Lori Anne’ peaches arrived in stores at the end of July. It’s not just one variety, but the varieties that make up the ‘Lori Anne’ peach brand are chosen for their flavor, and only the top 20% of the fruit grown at Titan Farms is selected.

Not only that, but Lori Anne Carr herself will be visiting stores for demonstrations over the summer of this year at select retailers in Minnesota and Louisiana.

Lori Anne Carr of Titan Farms holding the 'Lori Anne' peach

Lori Anne Carr of Titan Farms holds the peach ‘Lori Anne’ in her hand.
Photo courtesy of Titan Farms

“The ability to interact directly with customers is really something I look forward to,” she says. “We are excited to be able to travel and introduce Lori Anne peaches to new market areas for these retailers. Consumers ask the best questions and I have the opportunity to share stories about the farm, the fisheries and our family.

Titan Farms has been producing the ‘Lori Anne’ peach for 10 years. Lori Anne peaches are always tasty, “with just enough fluff,” and the press release ends with the following marketing that all growers could learn from.

“These peaches receive a lot of loving care – ripened on the humid South Carolina nights, hand harvested and carefully selected for packaging – giving Lori Anne’s peaches that special flavor – exactly what a peach should taste. : the perfect marriage between maturity and flavor. ”



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