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American shoppers have increased their purchases of fresh produce by almost 7 percent over this time last year, according to the latest “Fresh Facts on Retail” quarterly report from Washington-based United Fresh Research & Education Foundation. Produced in partnership with the Perishables Group in Chicago and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce in Coral Gables, Fla., the report measures retail price and sales volume trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories.
Fruit volume sold in the third quarter rose by 6.7 percent, while vegetable volume increased 7.6 percent, according to the report. Cherries emerged as a stellar performer, with a 101 percent gain in volume and a 15 percent dollar sales increase, while fresh corn dollar sales increased 8.7 percent.
Although volume gains were noted, discounts in the produce department made dollar sales comparisons less favorable. “While prices are down for many fruit and vegetable categories vs. this time last year, it’s positive to see the broader increase in volume,” said United Fresh president Tom Stenzel. “Consumers are returning to the fresh category and increasing the amount of fresh, healthy produce on their dinner tables.”
In addition, the current report’s “Quarterly Spotlight” feature explores the depth and breadth of promotional discounts within the value-added fruit and vegetable category.
“Fresh Facts on Retail” can be downloaded free of charge for all United Fresh members ($50 for non-members). For more information about how to obtain the report or suggestions for future category spotlights, contact Julie Jacocks, United Fresh education coordinator, at 202-303-3400 ext. 405. For questions about specific data contained in the report, contact Kelli Beckel at the Perishables Group at 773-929-7013.