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Fresh produce made strong gains in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the previous year, driven primarily by strong performance in fruit. Increases in average retail price did not negatively affect volume sales for fruits or other produce and led to a boost in dollar sales. Organic and value-added fruits and vegetables continued to grow with strong showings in dollar sales and volume, according to the latest edition of FreshFacts on Retail, the quarterly retail research report of the United Fresh Foundation.
Total fresh produce dollar and volume sales increased during Q4 2012, even though vegetables saw sales dollar declines paired with steady volumes. The average retail price for fruits increased 6.1 percent, with little effect on overall volume sales, which helped boost dollar sales. Fruit dollar sales and volume posted 9.2 percent and 3 percent increases, respectively.
The FreshFacts on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group, measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories.
Highlights of this quarter’s report include:
• Eight of the top 10 fruits posted volume increases that exceeded the same period last year.
• Six of the top 10 fruit categories increased dollar sales by double digits over the same period last year. Berries, avocados and melons increased dollar sales and volume by double digits.
• Packaged salad and squash/pumpkins were the only top 10 vegetable categories to post an increase in dollar sales compared to the same period last year.
• Value-added fruits increased dollar and volume sales by 12.9 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively. Fresh cut fruit accounted for more than two-thirds of value-added fruit dollar share during Q4 2012.
• Value-added vegetables increased dollar sales 6.2 percent and volume increased 7.9 percent this quarter, with side dishes accounting for more than 50 percent of value-added vegetable sales.
• Organic fruits increased dollar sales 23.2 percent and organic vegetables increased dollar sales 11.9 percent.
Each FreshFacts report also features a Quarterly Spotlight on an industry segment or notable trend. This quarter, organic produce sales trends are highlighted, and includes insights on which organic fruit and vegetable categories are driving growth while exploring how increases in retail price affect volume sales in this unique and popular category.
The complete FreshFacts on Retail report can be downloaded free of charge for all United Fresh members ($50 for non-members) here. For more information about how to obtain the report, please contact Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at 202-303-3400 ext. 405 or [email protected]. For questions about specific data contained in the report, please contact Kelli Beckel at the Perishables Group at 773-929-7013.