Market access challenges in the fresh produce sector is a result of everyone doing the same thing without market, product or customer differentiation.
I will break it down with reference specifically to farmers or aspiring farmers.
The fresh-cut produce marketplace offers tremendous opportunities, and continues to grow and evolve each year as a result of increasing consumer demand.
Products can be sold to a wide array of potential customers, and in a great variety of forms and formats. They can command premium pricing and positioning if marketed as a value-added “specialty food,” which is among the fastest growing segments of the food industry.
Fresh produce grower and processors must consider new business opportunities and critically strategize about how resultant products can truly be differentiated.
A “unique selling position” is the factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that your product (and/or your service) is different from and better than that of the competition.
Some questions to ask are:
- What is your product concept?
- Who is your target customer?
- How will you market to your target customer?
- Who is your competition?
- What is your point of difference from your competition?
- Does your product address an unmet consumer need?
- How is your product unique, and what are its benefits?
Changes in consumer demands, along with needed enhancements to food safety and quality, are driving tremendous innovation in the marketplace. Consumers today are seeking foods that are convenient, nutritious, easy to prepare, fresh, flavorful, visually appealing, portion controlled and, above all, that taste great.
It is said that “perception” drives trial in the marketplace, in which the objective is to communicate the brand, imagery, freshness, wholesomeness, nutritional content, and sensory stimuli that results in trust, and affects the initial purchase of a food product. However, it is also said that it is “reality” that affects the repeat purchase, in which the overall experience and value provided by the food product will demonstrate whether this promise has been fulfilled.
Surveys have continually shown that taste is the most powerful criterion for repeat purchase.
So the question is…do you want to be innovative for you to have repeat customers or not