United Fresh Produce Association’s first quarter 2021 issue of FreshFacts on Retail is now available. This issue debuts a new horizontal layout for an enhanced digital viewing experience.
Among the findings, the issue reports that most department sales remain higher than the past two years, as rising prices drove produce dollars as consumption fell slightly. While many food and beverage categories ended first quarter with growth, it will be important to evaluate the comparison period carefully as pantry stocking created spikes throughout last year.
“More than a year later, the pandemic continues to cause significant changes in consumer behavior,” said Miriam Wolk, United Fresh’s VP of member services. “The cautionary spending environment means brands will need to be laser-focused on economically constrained consumers’ price sensitivity and channels, shifting towards value outlets.”
In addition, the report looks at broader first quarter 2021 category performance data. Seasonal category deep dives feature avocados, cantaloupe, cauliflower and corn, with a year-to-year comparison of the last three years’ third quarter results to aid in planning for a successful third quarter 2021. While most fruit dollars declined, berries and lemons stand out, reflecting inflationary increase. Additionally, six out of the top 10 vegetable categories reported dollar growth.
Additional first quarter highlights include:
- Total produce household trips to the store are up 4.6 percent vs. a year ago;
- Salad kits continue to gain in popularity, as dollar share grew 2.1 points;
- Quarterly sales of organic produce eclipse $2.3 billion;
- Mixed fruit are the top selling value-added category and eight out of top ten categories reported growth; and
- Shopper spend on value-added vegetables continues to grow, with 2.7 percent dollar contribution of value-added vegetables to total produce.
The FreshFacts on Retail report measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories. The report is produced in partnership with NielsenIQ Fresh, with direction from the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board.
FreshFacts on Retail can be downloaded free of charge for all United Fresh and PMA members ($50 for non-members) on the United Fresh website.