April 2nd, 2015
What makes a supermarket great? Years ago, the answer might have been low prices, checkout speed, or variety. Now another consideration is top-of-mind: “fresh.”
When the typical shopper makes each of 83 yearly grocery trips (running up an annual tab of about $5,400), he or she is demanding a wider-than-ever choice of healthy, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish—as well as more organics and local produce. The clamor for “fresh” also extends to freshly prepared meals that can be taken home.
The growth of farmers markets—a fourfold increase nationwide in two decades—is also a factor, says Judy Harrison, a professor in the foods and nutrition department at the University of Georgia. She says that many people are likely to think local produce is fresher and maybe safer (though there’s no data to back up the notion), as well as more environmentally friendly because it has not been transported as far.
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