New consumer research for the California Table Grape Commission has found increased purchases of fresh grapes among primary shoppers ages 25 to 73.
According to a U.S. usage tracking study by TRUE Global Intelligence, the research arm of FleishmanHillard, 46% of shoppers consider the fruit to be a staple in their household and 57% usally put it on their list before going to the store, up from 42% in 2019.
Shoppers buying table grapes at least once a week increased from 52% two years ago to 56% in the latest survey, according to the commission.
“Given the challenges of 2020, especially the challenges with grocery shopping during a pandemic, these research results are important,” CTGC president Kathleen Nave said. “Primary shoppers are increasingly considering fresh grapes as a staple, confirmed by their increased planning tendencies and their increased purchasing frequency.”
Among other findings:
- For those who don't consider grapes to be a staple, 35% report that grapes are purchased often in their households.
- 36% of primary shoppers have purchased fresh grapes via online ordering. 70% of those shoppers report they are very likely to continue to purchase fresh grapes via online ordering in the next 12 months; another 28% are somewhat likely.
- Primary shoppers report that at $2.48 per pound, fresh grapes are priced reasonably; they are seen as a bargain at $1.59 and begin to seem too expensive at $3.74. Grapes are considered to be so inexpensive that product quality is a concern when priced at $0.84 per pound.
The study used quotas and weighting to assure accurate reflection of U.S. Census figures for age, gender, geographic region, and race/ethnicity, according to the panel.
Health benefits touted
The research comes as California’s fresh grape industry has been touting the fruit’s benefits to the body’s immune system amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study published in the scientific journal Clinical Infectious Diseases suggests that vitamin K-rich grapes may improve outcomes for virus patients, as a lack of adequate levels was associated with poor outcomes from the disease.
“Anything that may help offset the negative impact of this devastating virus is worth knowing so the findings that natural components found in grapes – vitamin K and certain flavonoids – may play a beneficial role in the fight is worth sharing,” Nave said.
A separate study published in the Journal of the Academy of Dermatology found that consuming grapes protected against ultraviolet (UV) skin damage.
“These recent findings add to the substantial body of research built over 20 years indicating that eating fresh grapes can have significant positive effects on long-term health," she said.