Younger shoppers shun fresh fruit and vegetables in favour of ready meals and pasta, Bridgethorne finds

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The over 55s and those with families are more prolific buyers of both fresh fruit and vegetables and fresh or chilled meat, whilst those in the 18-34 age group and empty nesters are more likely to be buying ready meals and pasta, according to new research published this week.

The Bridgethorne Shopper Index, produced quarterly by shopper and category management specialist Bridgethorne, found that on average 95% of respondents in the 55+ age group regularly bought fresh fruit and vegetables as part of their grocery shopping compared to just 86% of those in the 18-34 age group. Those with families and the retired are also more pre-disposed to purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables with 93% and 94% respectively regularly purchasing.

The number of those buying chilled or fresh meat has also risen among the over 55 age group with 63% buying regularly, at the same as it declined among the 18-34 age group to just 57%. Pre-families and those with families are also more likely to be buying ready meals (47% and 48% respectively) compared to just 36% of retired people and 31% of empty nesters.

“The fact that the over 55s are those more likely to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables than any other age group not only suggests there is a greater predisposition towards eating more healthily but also their greater disposable income makes it easier for them to afford to do so,” explains John Nevens, Joint Managing Director, Bridgethorne.

“However, it will be interesting to see whether the heightened media focus on healthier eating translates into reality as we continue the Index over the next few months. Either way, it demonstrates considerable opportunity for both retailers and brands to engage with this younger age group.”

The Bridgethorne Shopper Index is a quarterly survey of shopper opinions from shopper and category management specialists Bridgethorne, that gauges satisfaction, loyalty and future propensity to purchase.