Fresh produce maintained sales figures from the previous year in Q3 of 2012, driven by fruits and other produce. Decreases in average retail price boosted volume sales, especially for fruit categories. Organic and value-added fruits and vegetables continued with a strong sales performance, according to the latest edition of FreshFacts on Retail, the quarterly retail research report of the United Fresh Foundation.
Though vegetables declined in overall dollar and volume sales, total produce sales and volume grew. Other produce, a category defined by products such as grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dressings and beverages, increased significantly compared to the same period last year.
The FreshFacts on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group, 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:
• Nine of the top 10 fruits posted volume increases that exceeded the same period last year.
• Avocados, specialty fruits and grapes were the primary drivers of volume growth in fruits. Cucumbers, packaged salads, and mushrooms led the way in vegetables.
• Value-added fruits increased dollar and volume sales by 8.8% and 1.3%, respectively. Growth was driven primarily by the fresh cut fruit segment, which accounted for roughly three-quarters of value-added fruit dollar share.
Value-added vegetables’ growth outperformed their fruit counterparts, with a 10.2% increase in dollar sales and a 10.6% volume increase.
Organic vegetables increased dollar sales 12.1% and organic fruit increased dollar sales 23%.