Customers Remain Loyal to Fresh Produce Despite Challenges in Economy

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Customers Remain Loyal to Fresh Produce Despite Challenges in Economy


Weekly dollar sales and per store volume of fresh produce grew in the fourth quarter of 2010 vs. the same period in 2009, while the average price of produce at supermarkets in Q4 2010 also increased, according to the latest edition of FreshFacts on Retail, the quarterly retail research report of the United Fresh Produce Association.

Consumers remained dedicated to including fresh produce in their diets, so finds the most recent FreshFacts report, and when coupled with the recent recommendation from USDA that Americans eat “half a plate” of fruits and vegetables, the outlook is positive for continued growth in produce sales.

The FreshFacts on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories.

Highlights of this quarter’s report include:

• An increase in weekly dollar sales of 3.1 percent for fruit
• Increases of 11.6 percent in volume and 8.4 percent in sales for the value-added fruits category
• Increases of 1.6 percent in volume and 4.1 percent in sales for the value-added vegetables category
• Weekly volume and dollar sales growth for six of the top 10 items in the vegetable category
• Increases in weekly dollar sales for seven of the top 10 items in the fruit category

Each FreshFacts report also features a Quarterly Spotlight on one industry segment in particular. This quarter, the spotlight shines on organic produce, which has seen an increase in dollar sales, volume per store and average retail price in the fourth quarter.

Within the segment, organic apples, berries, grapes, citrus and avocados have all seen double-digit percentage growth in sales, while berries, grapes, citrus and avocados have seen the same double-digit percentage growth in weekly volume. Headlining this growth was the organic prepared fruit category, with weekly dollar sales up 83.4 percent and volume up 46.2 percent. The organic category as a whole accounts for 4.5 percent of all produce sales.

The complete FreshFacts on Retail report can be downloaded free of charge to all United Fresh members ($50 for non-members) by clicking here.

For more information about how to obtain the report, please contact Julie Jacocks, United Fresh education manager, at 202-303-3400 ext. 405 or [email protected]. For questions about specific data contained in the report, please contact Kelli Beckel at the Perishables Group at 773-929-7013.