Home » Earlier Easter Helps Boost Fresh Produce Sales
National Produce News

Earlier Easter Helps Boost Fresh Produce Sales

produce shoppers sales independent grocers

March 2024 fresh produce sales reached $8.8 billion, according to a recent report by Circana and 210 Analytics.

In a strong month, produce units increased by 3 percent, with gains for fruit and vegetables. The full year also experienced increases in dollars and units. While fresh produce unit sales rose 3 percent, volume in pounds increased 3.8 percent – pointing to a shift to larger pack sizes.

The week-by-week view shows the impact of an earlier Easter on the March results. During the holiday week, pounds increased 9.6 percent versus year-ago levels. However, the March results also show a solid growth performance during the non-holiday weeks. 

Vegetables were the stronger performer in pounds, with an increase of 6.1 percent. However, fruit also had robust growth, up 3.6 percent versus a year ago.

Prices in the fresh perimeter were up 1.2 percent in March versus year ago, whereas center-store grocery prices increased 1.6 percent. The March prices across food and beverages were 35 percent higher than they were pre-pandemic. 

Fresh produce had mild price increases in March and the 52-week view. Vegetable prices dropped in March, at least in part by more and deeper promotions. Fruit prices increased by 3.3 percent versus March 2023.

Total store comparison

Fresh produce outperformed frozen and shelf-stable throughout 2023 and March was no exception. While frozen fruits and vegetables had slightly higher unit gains, this is off a much smaller base. 

Top produce sellers

Berries, apples and grapes were the strong top three sellers in fruit. The pound performance was inconsistent, both on the fruit and vegetable sides. Fruit had eight of the top 10 sellers move more pounds than during March 2023. Likewise, eight of 10 vegetable subcategories in the top 10 sellers increased pound sales.

Berries added the most new dollars this March, at more than $119.6 million, followed by onions and grapes. Lettuce was the lone addition this month.

Read more produce news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Featured Photos

Featured Photo WAFC Convention
Gaylord Rockies Resort
Aurora, Colorado
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap