Fresh produce continues to play an important role in fourth quarter holiday sales, according to the United Fresh Produce Association’s Q4 2018 & 2018 Year in Review edition of the FreshFacts® on Retail report.
“Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the most important weeks of the year for retail and the food industry,” said Miriam Wolk, United Fresh’s Vice President, Member Services. “The data provided in FreshFacts will help readers understand sales trends and plan future promotions.”
Q4 Data highlights include:
* Shoppers spend more money in the store when produce is included in the transaction, an average of $60 compared to $47 without a produce item; however, 50 percent of trips to the grocery store do not include produce.
* Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries displayed strong growth this quarter, likely benefiting from consumers’ perceptions of their health & wellness benefits.
* Nine of the top ten vegetable categories, with packaged salads as an exception, saw higher fourth-quarter dollar sales in 2018.
This quarter’s report features seasonal category deep dives on grapes, avocados and packaged salads, with a comparison of Q2 2018 vs. Q2 2017 results to help companies plan for a successful Q2 2019. A spotlight on the strength of organic produce showcases purchasing trends and commodities that still have room for expansion in this sector. The report also looks at value-added fruits and vegetables, including a continued feature on the packaged salad category.
The Year in Review section of the report highlights the following:
* Despite a growing consumer demand for healthy foods, fresh produce had lower sales gains than any other fresh department, 1.7 percent compared to 3.1 for meat, 6.6 for deli, 3.8 for bakery and 5.9 for seafood.
* Convenience and snackability options continue to fuel the growth of packaged salads and value-added vegetables.
* Organic produce is expected to play a consistently vital role in the food industry with $5.6 billion in sales, up from 8.7 percent the previous year.
The FreshFacts® on Retail report, produced in partnership with Nielsen Fresh and direction from the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board, measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities as well as other value-added produce categories. The report is sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce and can be downloaded free of charge for all United Fresh members ($50 for non-members) here.