Upward Growth for Fresh Produce Continues in Q2 FreshFacts on Retail

Fresh produce dollar and volume sales saw larger increases in the second quarter of 2012 than the first, though average retail prices continued to fluctuate. Fruits saw an overall increase in prices while vegetables saw a decrease. Organic and value-added fruit and vegetable products also sustained significant dollar and volume growth compared to the second quarter last year, according to the latest edition of FreshFacts on Retail, the quarterly retail research report of the United Fresh Foundation.

Between fruits and vegetables, fruits accounted for the most significant growth in produce dollar sales this quarter, with berries, cherries and avocados driving a 5.3% increase compared to the same period last year. Vegetables had an average retail price decrease of 2.7% during Q2 2012, contributing to a slight 1.4% decline in dollars and a 1.4% increase in volume sales.

The FreshFacts on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen 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:

·         Eight of the top 10 fruits and five of the top 10 vegetables posted dollar sales that exceeded Q2 2012.

·         Berries, cherries and avocados were the primary drivers of both dollar and volume growth in the fruit category, and corn led the way in the vegetable category.

·         Value-added fruits continued upward growth in dollar sales and price, up 9.2% and 9.0% respectively.

·         Value-added vegetables increased weekly dollar and volume sales; this growth was relatively unaffected by retail price.

Organic produce had double-digit increases in both dollars and volume. Organic vegetables increased dollar sales nearly 15% and organic fruit increased dollar sales 20.3%.

Each FreshFacts report also features a Quarterly Spotlight on an industry segment or notable trend. This quarter, Nielsen Perishables Group introduces Essence, a new tool that targets consumers based on ethnicity, affluence, presence of children, cooking behaviors and health and wellness lifestyles. The Spotlight examines the dominant shopper groups within value-added fruits and vegetables, and in which households value-added produce stands to gain the largest opportunities.

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