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ATLANTA, Ga. -- In response to findings from a recent consumer survey, the Georgia Peach Commission (GPC) here has introduced a special trade section on its Web site to help retailers better merchandise Georgia peaches to consumers.
The commission's new retail section, at http://www.gapeaches.org, features merchandising best practices and historical information regarding the long legacy of sweet Georgia peaches.
"We believe that the trade section will help retailers maximize sales of Georgia peaches because they now have the opportunity to download our colorful point-of-sale materials and obtain our product storage, handling and display suggestions," said Al Pearson, GPC chairman.
The new trade area online also highlights results from a recent consumer survey commissioned by the GPC, including the finding that 89 percent of consumers favor the taste and appearance of Georgia peaches compared to those from other states. Results also revealed Georgia-grown peaches have powerful brand recognition that extends beyond Georgia and the Southeast, the organization said.
The Perishables Group, a Chicago-based independent consulting firm that specializes in the fresh food industry, conducted the consumer Internet survey in partnership with Sahlman Williams Public Relations and Marketing, the Georgia Peach Commission’s public relations firm and developer of the commission's new Web site.
Consumer interviews conducted in April 2006 targeted 1,000 residents from four geographic regions encompassing the State of Georgia, as well as the Southeast (Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee), the Northeast (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) and the Midwest (Illinois and Ohio).
Additional highlights from the consumer research:
-- Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed ranked fresh Georgia peaches as their first choice among all of the peaches produced nationwide.
-- More than half of those interviewed indicated a willingness to pay more to purchase peaches produced in that state.
-- Health benefits strongly influence buying decisions. More than 75 percent of the respondents would be more likely to purchase peaches when informed of the fruit's nutritional and health benefits as a source of vitamin A and fiber as well as low- or zero-fat, sodium, and cholesterol content.
Georgia's peach harvest runs from mid-May to mid-August, and produces harvesting more than 130 million pounds each year.