CHICAGO — A new research study found that consumers prefer branded produce products. Conducted by Foodmix Marketing Communications, the study looked at branding within the fresh produce industry and how commodity growers can make a larger profit. 

The study surveyed more than 1,000 regular produce shoppers among Boomers, Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z generations.  

The study found almost half of Gen X and Boomers consider it important that the fresh produce they buy is branded, while two-thirds of Millennials and Gen Z generations are more likely to purchase branded fresh produce.  

With store brands and private labels currently in the forefront of the produce space, research shows that there is a significant opportunity for branded produce companies to generate considerably more share within the industry.  

"We did our homework to make sure we brought the industry a fresh perspective. This is a landmark study that will end the debate to brand or not to brand," said Dan O'Connell, chief executive officer at Foodmix Marketing Communications. "Through our research, we have identified that customers will indeed buy more at higher margins from brands who embark on sharing a true, sustainable story. Consumers have made it clear that there are not enough brands to love, and they want more." 

Foodmix's study highlighted that brands with an established story generate trust and engagement among consumers. With sustainability as a table stake for many ‘Brand Lovers’, it's more about key attributes that will drive advocacy and Brand Love than broad statements. 

When it comes to generating Brand Love, there is room for growth among produce brands that have successfully achieved customer loyalty. Almost 60of consumers admit to "loving" a fresh produce brand; however, they struggle to name a second brand that they have an emotional connection with. The findings suggest that there is plenty of room left for produce brands to achieve advocacy and Brand Love status.  

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