‘Fresh’ food category growth, Nielsen global survey

  • March 20, 2013
  • Sophie Langley

Despite an increase in food prices worldwide, fresh foods remain an important part of the weekly shop globally, according to research published earlier this month by global market researcher Nielsen.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Fresh Foods, which surveyed more than 29,000 respondents in 58 countries, found that consumers globally now spend between 30 and 60 per cent of their total food, grocery and personal care funds on fresh foods.

The research found that consumers globally shop for fresh foods 2.5 times per week on average. Globally, shopping trips are made most frequently (3.2 times per week) for fruits and vegetables, and least frequently (1.6 times per week) for fish and seafood.

Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region averaged the most shopping trips per week for fruits and vegetables (3.9 times a week), meat and poultry (2.6 times a week) and fish and other seafood (2.1 times a week).

Consumers in the Middle East and Africa shop more than global average each week for dairy, going to the shops an average of 4.1 times to buy dairy products. They also shopped more frequently than average for deli items, heading to the shops an average of 2.7 times a week. Latin American shoppers are bread and bakery fans, shopping an average of 4.3 times a week for these items.

The research found that consumers in most Asian countries allocate more than 50 per cent of their total food, grocery and personal care budgets to fresh foods. Spending on fresh foods in Europe, however, varies dramatically. In the US, spending on fresh foods in the non-grocery channels is growing. In Latin America, specialty retailers are important destinations for buying fresh foods.

The research also looked at which retail channels were favoured by consumers in different countries, and why. Nielsen said that ‘good value and convenience’ are the most important store choice factors in Europe and North America, but ‘freshness’ is more important for consumers in the Asia-Pacific region, in Latin America and in the Middle East and Africa. Consumers around the world also said their store preferences were motivated by “high-quality fresh products, ample selection and the ability to self-select meat, produce and bakery products”.


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