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Lettuce Problem May Force Change In Habits

Lettuce Problem May Force Change In Purchasing Habits

Food Consultant Graham Wilkinson says the current lettuce aphid problem may change the traditional purchasing habits of New Zealanders.

He foresees the current price gap between head lettuces and packaged salads narrowing, which could have long term influence on the salad market.

“Buying the whole head lettuce has been and is a Kiwi institution. It is by far the most popular salad purchase. However if the aphid problem persists, consumers will be forced to consider seriously the option of packaged lettuce, where there is much more certainty about quality.”

He says he can well understand LeaderBrand’s decision to withdraw its iceberg lettuce from the market given it was the only producer with a branded iceberg lettuce.

Graham Wilkinson said he sympathised with LeaderBrand’s problem.

“Their brand is an explicit promise to consumers, and if the quality and appearance of the product does not meet consumers expectations, the brand can be damaged.

“Who would have thought the tiny aphid might be responsible for changing such long-held shopping habits.”

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