Sales Review: Tomatoes

As consumers look to eat healthier between meals, sales of snacking tomatoes
continue to increase.

By Haley Hastings

Tomatoes accounted for 5.4% of produce department dollar sales, the second-largest vegetable category behind packaged salad, for the 52 weeks ended January 25. Nearly 82% of U.S. households purchased tomatoes and spent $2.81 on tomatoes per trip, up 2.2% from the previous year.

Nationally, tomatoes posted average weekly sales of $2,546 per store, up 3.3% compared to the previous year. Among the U.S. regions, the East posted the highest average tomato sales at $3,425 per store per week. This was an increase of 2.0% compared to the previous year. The West region had the second highest sales at $2,429, and the largest dollar increase compared to the previous year, up 4.6%. The Central and South regions posted average weekly sales of $2,390 and $2,338 respectively.

Tomato sales were highest during the month of June, spiking the week of Independence Day (the week ended July 6,) at $3,334 per store, steady compared to the previous year. The lowest-selling week for tomatoes occurred the week ended September 28, at $2,163 per store. This was an increase of 3.3% compared to the previous year.

Snacking tomatoes posted the largest contribution to tomato sales at 29.2%, followed closely by hothouse on the vine at 26.7%. Snacking tomatoes drove dollar sales growth, increasing 6.6% to $743 per store per week. Hothouse on the vine sales were steady compared to the previous year. Roma tomatoes posted the largest dollar increase of the tomato sub-categories, up 7.2% to $431 per store per week. Field and hothouse round sales were consistent compared to the previous year.

This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in retail measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. For more information, contact Nielsen Perishables Group: Haley Hastings, (773) 929-7013; email: Haley.Hastings@nielsen.com.

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