Excluding weeks that were affected by the 2019 or 2020 holiday demand, everyday demand is normalizing at around 10% above year ago levels.
For the week of August 30, fresh fruit and vegetable sales increased 4.7% over 2019. Frozen fruits and vegetables had a much higher percentage increase, at +17.7% but is the smallest of the three temperature zones.
Between January and August 16, produce sales in calendar year 2020 are $4.5 billion ahead of 2019 sales, with an additional 2.9 billion pounds of fresh produce sold. Fresh produce appears to be settling into an everyday demand pattern that sits about 10% above last year’s levels.
The second full week of August was the fifth of eight non-holiday weeks between Independence Day and Labor Day, in which everyday demand alone had to drive the sales performance.
Consumer concern over COVID-19 remains high but stable, with 57 percent being extremely concerned, according to wave 16 of the IRI shopper sentiment survey series.
Elevated every day retail demand drove sales gains of +11.7% over year ago for fresh produce during the week ending July 26 — virtually unchanged versus the week prior.
Organic produce has experienced deflationary prices throughout the pandemic. Overall organic fruit saw a -3.7% decrease in the price per pound during the 12 week period ending May 17.
After weeks of growing transactions and spending in the foodservice channel, the rising number of COVID-19 cases around the country prompted many states to reinstate in-restaurant dining restrictions and limit capacity once more.
Pamela and Anne-Marie drill down the numbers in the most recent IRI scan data, and explore the surprisingly long list of items with a volume/price gap in the week ending July 12.
Father’s Day excepted, fruit had its strongest week since mid June, at +6.5% over last year.