Introduction

Fruit and vegetable consumption is an important component of a healthy diet. Despite its importance, there is no systematic analysis of how consumers buy these 'categories' (fruits and vegetables) or 'brands' (bananas, apples, broccoli, peas, etc.). In response, this paper determines if there are any patterns in fruit and vegetable buying behaviour similar to those established within the consumer behaviour literature, namely patterns relating to consumer loyalty, consumer sharing and brand user profiles (Ehrenberg 1988; Sharp 2010; Romaniuk & Sharp 2016).

This paper first discusses the context of the research, highlighting the need for an understanding of fruit and vegetable buying behaviour. Next, the analytical approaches and dataset are outlined. This study uses descriptive data and compares the reported buying behavioural data with the theoretical predications from the Dirichlet model. Two size measures (market share and penetration) and four loyalty measures (average purchase frequency, category buying rate, share of category requirements and sole loyalty) are used to analyse consumer loyalty. In addition, analysis of the duplication of buying between brands indicates the degree of consumer sharing, and a comparison of commonly used segmentation variables (mean absolute deviations) reveals the brand user profiles of fruits and vegetables.