Fruit dips in latest FreshFacts report

Source: Nielsen Total Food View, Total U.S. xAOC, 13 Weeks Ending 6/29/19:, UPC-coded and random-weight/Non-UPC data; Nielsen Homescan * Denotes categories reported in units instead of pounds, and average price per unit instead of average price per pound.

In the latest FreshFacts on Retail report from the United Fresh Produce Association BB #:145458, five of the Top 10 Fruits saw declines in volume in the second quarter, while romaine saw a bounce back in consumer confidence following consumer advisories late last year.

Apples, bananas, strawberries, avocados and oranges all saw drops in volume ranging from 1% for bananas to 8.2% for strawberries in the second quarter, which ended June 29. High prices pushed avocado dollars up 10.3% in the quarter, however.

Increasing supplies from the southern hemisphere boosted mandarin orange volumes nearly 24%, which dollars up 13.5%. Raspberries, too, saw a huge increase, up 14.4% in volume and 6.5% in dollars.

Those gains were nearly enough to offset decreases in fruit, with overall category dollars down just 0.6% and pounds down 0.5% in versus the second quarter of 2018.

Romaine lettuce sales increased 8% in the second quarter, which the report says suggests consumer concerns over recalls may have passed.

Fifty-nine percent of households said they bought packaged salads in the second quarter, the No. 1 vegetable item. Volume increased 4% in the quarter and dollars were up 5.2% compared to 2018.

Overall lettuce volume was down 0.6% and mushrooms volume was down 2%.

Celery continued its rise in popularity in the second quarter, with total celery volume sold increasing 6.4% and dollars up 7.1%. Brussels sprouts, too, saw big gains, up 18.5% in volume in Q2.

Organic produce sales increased across the board, with vegetables up 2.2% in volume and fruit up 3.1%.

Want more information? United Fresh members can download a complimentary copy of the report ($50 for non-members) by clicking here.

And for more analysis, the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board and Nielsen Fresh are hosting a live webinar Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. EST to discuss statistics, with time for Q&A, featuring Matt Lally, associate director of Nielsen Fresh, moderated by Jeff Cady of Tops Friendly Markets. Click here to register.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.