With their vibrant colors and variety of shapes, fruits and vegetables present a visual feast. Retailers who choose the right packaging can enhance this natural appeal of fresh produce. A recent survey shows that shoppers prefer to buy produce displayed in IFCO reusable plastic containers. And RPCs offer a host of other benefits to retailers as well.
Red, green, yellow, orange – the colorful, eye-catching display of fresh fruits and vegetables are often the first thing shoppers see when they enter grocery stores. This first impression can greatly influence consumers’ shopping behavior, so the produce section should communicate the message of superior quality.
And because shoppers prefer the freshest, most attractive produce, it makes sense to display fruits and vegetables in the most appealing way. The correct presentation can deepen their loyalty, enhance the retailer’s reputation, and increase fresh produce sales.
As grocery retailers are facing a range of challenges including rising costs, growing pressure to cut prices, and increased competition from online shopping and home delivery, it makes sense to greet in-store shoppers with attractive displays that meet their visual and sensory needs.
In fact, despite the convenience of online grocery ordering, many consumers still enjoy the grocery shopping experience. In anticipation of tasty and healthy meals, picking and choosing individual fruits and vegetables by their texture, fragrance, firmness, ripeness, plumpness or size is tactile and satisfying.
To determine how much in-store displays actually influence customer behavior, IFCO commissioned the 2016 Global Shopper Produce Display Preferences survey, which interviewed 2,200 shoppers in eleven countries.
One feature of IFCO RPCs that puts quality and freshness in the forefront is color. Surrounded by black IFCO Lift Lock crates, fruits and vegetables appear brighter. When displayed in green IFCO RPCs, fresh produce remains positively associated with nature. The design of IFCO RPCs is another factor. With their sturdy structure and easy stacking, RPCs offer many options for setting up creative, attention-getting displays, and giving shoppers an even better impression.
"These results show consumers strongly prefer RPCs for fresh food packaging," says IFCO CEO Michael Pooley. "The survey clearly shows retailers and growers can enhance shopper experience and increase sales by using RPCs. There are a lot of good reasons to use RPCs to package, transport, store and display fresh produce. They are safer, more efficient, cost-effective, sustainable and protect food better than single-use packaging," concludes Pooley.
Shoppers’ favorable perception of reusable packaging goes farther than the freshness of fruits and vegetables in the in-store display. Increasingly, consumers want a transparent supply chain. They want to be sure that food is produced in an environmentally responsible way. According to a research from the Food Marketing Institute, almost 90 percent of customers identify themselves as conscious consumers1. In other words, they want to make informed decisions about the products they buy and the companies they support. When retailers communicate directly, and openly address shopper’s concerns, they educate consumers on the benefits of reusable containers.
For customers, food safety is as important as freshness and quality. Most survey participants commented that reusable containers seemed more hygienic and appeared cleaner. One reason for this is the smooth, moisture-resistant surface of IFCO crates, which helps to maintain hygiene. In terms of material, our RPCs are made from food-grade polypropylene (PP), typically found in microwaveable kitchenware, making them safe for food use. Our RPCs are washed and sanitized after every use, following a strict global process and according to very high standards – to ensure food safety for consumers.
And, because our RPCs are reusable and generate less waste, they also appeal to consumers who are environmentally minded. Shoppers increasingly embrace the circular economy idea of reduce and reuse – often even favoring it over recycling. Compared to single-use packaging RPCs produce 86 percent less waste. This helps save energy and raw materials, reducing environmental damage and the need for landfills2.
In addition to building a positive retailer reputation for high quality produce, display-ready IFCO RPCs offer a range of other benefits. They are particularly robust and protect fresh produce from damage during transport, which helps to avoid spoilage and waste. The optimal ventilation provided by RPCs also maintains product quality and extends the shelf life of fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables arrive in better condition, so they stay fresher longer. This makes them more appealing for consumers – and increase your sales.