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WRAP Calls for Retail Revolution: Engage Customers and Simplify Fresh Produce Pricing

WRAP has published a study that provides updated insights into the behaviour of UK consumers regarding their purchases of fresh fruit and vegetables. The research aims to better prepare the food and drink industry for consumer needs.



The study, conducted between August and November 2023, is intended to inform both WRAP and the broader sector on how to revolutionise the food system. It revealed a potential increase in the purchase of loose fresh fruit and vegetables, with many respondents expressing a willingness to buy more.


Approximately 78% of UK consumers reportedly purchase at least one piece of loose fresh fruit or vegetable, with 60% preferring to buy these items without packaging. Those who already purchase loose produce have noted a reduction in waste, particularly with bananas, apples, and carrots.


The research highlighted challenges in the availability and price comparison of fresh produce in stores, describing the process as difficult and confusing. WRAP recommends that retailers make pricing clear, simple, and comparable to dispel the notion that loose produce is more expensive.


Despite the demand for the option to select the quantity of produce to purchase, consumers do not seem to be fully aware of its importance. WRAP suggests that retailers should engage customers on the benefits of buying loose by implementing in-store activations, communications, and providing guidance on portion sizes and recipes tailored to loose produce.


Some customers perceive loose produce as being of lower quality. WRAP advises retailers to address this by enhancing in-store messaging. Although environmental concerns are not the primary consideration for consumers, there is an opportunity to promote sustainability by educating customers on the environmental advantages of reducing plastic packaging and food waste.


Jackie Bailey, senior campaign manager at Love Food Hate Waste, emphasised the significant impact that choosing to use what we buy can have on reducing food waste. She advocates for an increase in the availability of loose fruit and vegetables in stores, highlighting the dual benefits of waste reduction and meeting consumer preferences, thus creating a win-win situation.


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