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Review of factors affecting fruit and vegetable demand - FO0438

Description
Household purchases of fruit and vegetables (FAV [excluding potatoes]) have increased by 31% over the period of 1975 to 2006. Yet, since 2006 there has been a reversal in the upward trend and purchases have declined by 9% to 2009. Increasing consumption of FAV is a key government initiative [Defra 2030] and has been led by the Fruit and Vegetable Task Force, 5-A-Day /Change for Life campaigns, and the Responsibility Deal Food Network. Given this emphasis on increasing fresh produce consumption there is a surprising paucity of collated data on what governs demand even though it is known to be affected by many factors [Terry et al., 2011] including product [specification], price, packaging, promotion(s), and providence etc. It is, however, unknown what the relevant importance of various factors is in determining buying decision and how this might be compounded by changes in product specification, market segmentation and availability. Moreover, it is unclear how and to what extent the long term effect of the recent economic crisis and subsequent spike [and projected sustained increase] in food prices will have on demand for specific fresh produce types in the future. Given this general lack of understanding the proposed project will aim to provide a basis for defining the key drivers that affect consumer demand for FAV by comprehensively reviewing available evidence. In addition, the proposed project will also consult the UK fresh produce industry through a series of structured interviews and an on-line questionnaire using the Fresh Produce Consortium's membership database. For the purposes of the review only fresh FAV (including potatoes) will be considered in detail although other formats (e.g. frozen, dried, juices and composite meals) will be considered as additional avenues for segregating FAV that are deemed to be 'out of specification'.

More specially, the main objectives of the proposal are as follows:
Objective 1) Systematic review of existing knowledge
A detailed review of peer-reviewed and grey literature will be conducted to establish what is currently known about factors that influence and dictate FAV demand in general and for lower quality products. The review will fundamentally consider the definition of quality and product specification as an attribute and how this is associated with price and availability. Other key factors which are known to affect demand will also be considered, notably, the influence of socioeconomic segmentation, packaging and the affect that promotion(s) and forecasting mechanics have on demand and associated availability. Specific data sets on consumption available from the ONS (e.g. Family Food/Expenditure and Food/NDNS) and that presented in the recent WRAP RSC008 Resource Maps for Fruit and Vegetables [conducted by the same project team herein viz. Cranfield University, The Fresh Produce Consortium and IGD] will be utilised. Moreover, other supply chain and retailer/wholesale data from WRAP and the IGD will be used.
Objective 2) Structured interview and on line questionnaire
A series of structured and on-line questionnaires will be condutcted to canvas the views of the fresh produce industry about factors that affect consumer demand and buying behaviour for fruits and vegetables
Objective 3) Final report and recommendations
A final report will be completed which collates ‘state of the art’ understanding of the factors that affect fruit and vegetable demand and suggests recommendations for increasing the availability of lower quality fresh produce
Objective
7. (b) Objectives


Objective 1: Systematic review of existing knowledge

Technical and scientific aims: conduct a detailed systematic review of existing knowledge about the factors that affect consumer demand for fresh produce

Milestones
• Collation of necessary literature (1 month)
• Complete review (1.5 months)

Objective 2: Structured interviews and on line questionnaire

Technical and scientific aims: conduct a series of structured interviews and on-line questionnaire to canvas the views of the fresh produce industry about factors that affect consumer demand and buying behaviour for fresh fruit and vegetables

Milestones
• Develop and agree questionnaire with Defra (1 month)
• Conduct structured interviews with leading retailers (2 months)
• Conduct online questionnaire with fresh produce suppliers (3 months)
• Complete data analysis (3.5 months)

Objective 3: Final Report and recommendations

Technical and scientific aims: produce a report which collates ‘state of the art’ understanding of the factors that affect fruit and vegetables demand and suggests recommendations for increasing the availability of lower quality fresh produce.

Milestone
• Complete final report (4 months)
Project Documents
• TRP - Technical Report : FO0438 FFG   (1409k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2011

Cost: £44,690
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Cranfield
Keywords
Fruit              
Resource efficient and resilient food chain              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Vegetables