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How Food Retailers Can Manage the Decline in Veg Sales

In the midst of the current cost-of-living crisis, latest research has found that consumers are buying less vegetables, in favour of calorie rich foods.

In this blog we’ll look at what the factors are contributing to the decline in vegetable consumption and share how independent food retailers can manage the impact of changing consumer spending habits.

Why Vegetables Sales Are Down

According to new research, vegetable sales are down by 9% compared to last year. This is echoed in YouGov’s new survey, where 26% of participants said they had bought fewer fresh vegetables due to financial pressures.

Lucy Antal, food justice lead at campaigning group, ‘Feedback Global’ said: “If households on the Living Wage were to follow the EatWell plate guidance at the moment, it would use up 45% of the household income. This isn’t practical or possible, so we have families and individuals relying on less healthy options to stretch their budgets and fill their stomachs.”

Increasing Food Costs

On average, the cost of food has increased by 10% in recent months, for less well-paid households this equates to 18% in real terms.

Increasing Energy Costs

The increasing cost of energy and fuel is another factor that impacts people at home and the whole supply chain.

Budgets Squeezed

Many families are opting for energy rich, filling foods, replacing freshly grown vegetables with processed foods. As healthier foods currently cost three times as much per 1,000 calories than less healthy foods.

Some families with younger children are avoiding vegetables, considering it a riskier food choice that could end up in the bin, if their children don’t like them.

How Food Retailers Can Help

Promote Healthy Living

Independent shops can encourage fruit and vegetable sales by offering promotions. A great way to entice more customers is by offering evening meal kits including fresh produce, which can be easily set up through an EPOS System like Quantum by Cunninghams EPOS Group.

Providing customers with ideas on how to use seasonal fruit and vegetables is also a great way to champion locally grown produce.

Keep Quantities Affordable

Try to make vegetables affordable for customers by offering a wonky veg box or allowing customers to buy in smaller quantities.

Make Vegetables Accessible

Independent stores can help by increasing frozen fruit and veg offerings. Frozen vegetables can be a good alternative to fresh, as they last longer and are often cheaper, but still give a good dose of vitamins.

Avoid Waste

With consumers buying less, retailers may be faced with more waste. Monitoring stock and keeping track of products with a short shelf life through your EPOS solution will avoid them going to waste.

Using excess vegetables in your café or restaurant will help to promote nutritious balanced meals.

There are plenty of community cupboards or cooking spaces that would welcome extra fresh food to use in their kitchens.

Keeping on top of your sales reports will also help to identify if you have a drop off in vegetables sales and you can start ordering less. Reports like this can be accessed through EPOS solutions like Quantum, which helps food retailers make informed decisions.

At Cunninghams EPOS Group, our EPOS solution for food retailers can help your business increase sales through promotions, monitor stock and reduce waste. To book your demo and to find out more, call our expert team on 0330 024 5014 or email


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