What is Premiumization?

Premiumization is creating or reimagining a product or item into a more luxurious image. This handy PDF puts together top findings for Anne-Marie Roerink’s study, “The Power of Produce 2019”—a study that was published by The Food Marketing Institute. The study states that nearly 100% of American households buy fresh produce, but only 41% of shoppers eat it daily. The study goes on to state that many Americans wish to eat fresh produce more often. As a result, businesses have been keeping their merchandising coolers stocked with both fresh and frozen fruits and veggies.

The study points to a legitimate desire that many American families have but isn’t being adequately marketed for. As a culture, we have long since seen fruits and vegetables as things we ought to eat but always seem to fall short on. Many people understand that amidst the healthcare crisis fueled by diet and obesity-related issues, it has never been more important to try to adopt better eating habits in America.

How are Businesses Rising to Meet This Gap?

Well, without veering too far into a history lesson, we can say for certain that 60 years ago your typical family consisted of a man who went to work every day and a woman who tended to the home and cooked. While we’ve been thankfully freed from such restrictive lifestyle and social norms, it stands to reason that a byproduct of equality of choice and freedom is that…nobody is at home to cook these days.

Many companies that aim to sell health foods or products that prominently feature produce have worked tirelessly to craft something healthy, appealing and most importantly—convenient. The Power of Produce study stated that packaged produce is playing a growing role based on the latest trends in our society. Coupled with the availability of information through the internet, consumers are more adamant than ever about knowing the nutritional content of what they eat. It has become a numbers game and compared to purchasing whole produce, packaged produce has an edge of providing additional information to the shopper. A person can look at a package of organic spinach and conclude through the provided information that 1 cup of spinach will provide approximately 56% of the RDA for Vitamin A. Not only that, but they can see roughly how many servings are in the package, making it easier to decide how long it will take to consume and whether it will spoil or not.

Snack Time

salad snack

Another aspect of the encompassing study was that the best avenue to drive produce sales was not only to aim for convenience but also “snackability”. Providing consumers with produce options that allow them to snack on produce, rather than to follow through on the idea of a food pyramid and having “portions” on the plate as was preached to older generations. This is most visible in refrigerated produce sections where top-selling items are things such as box kits that have prepped carrots, celery, cheese, peanut butter and a serving of dressing ready to go.

The size of a snack can vary from person to person, but what is generally agreed upon is that a snack should be easy to assemble. This goes back to what was discussed prior, that shoppers want something appealing AND convenient. You can see this premiumization trend play out in the heightened popularity of organic prepackaged produce that offers gourmet blends for easy salad prep, as well as the popularity of hybrid products that use vegetables in unique ways. A commonly seen example is frozen pizzas where the crust is made of cauliflower.

Summing Up Premiumization in Produce

Consumer behavior in this category comes down to 3 things:

  1. Most Americans buy produce, but many wish they ate more of it.
  2. Businesses have realized this, and are creating produce products that aim for convenience at a premium (the aforementioned study also notes that Millenials are willing to spend more on healthy products).
  3. The draw is making produce premium by pushing organic products and unique prepackaged foods that take a healthier, gourmet focused approach as opposed to just selling basic produce which requires time to chop and prepare.

Commercial Merchandising Freezers

Excellence Industries is a national leader in commercial refrigeration solutions. We have worked with companies such as Pepsi, Kraft, Marriott, Remy Martin, and Conagra to meet their needs for high-quality cooling. With a heightened interest in new, innovative produce products, the need for cooling solutions to keep those products fresh has never been greater. Contact us at 800-441-4014 to speak to a commercial refrigeration representative who can answer any questions you may have about our products.