Anne-Marie Roerink and I are back to talk about consumer trends amid the COVID-19 crisis. This week we have the latest sales numbers, and how July 4 was surprisingly strong, despite the single-digit growth.
The week ending June 21st was Father’s Day weekend and it resulted in a significant boost for fresh produce, both fruit and vegetables. At the same time, the demand for center-store items, including frozen and canned fruit and vegetables, also remained strong.
This increase in produce demand from the foodservice side of the business came on top of continued elevated levels of at-home meal occasions. This results in an ever-changing demand landscape for grocery retailing as a whole, and produce along with it.
Memorial Day signals the traditional start of the summer grilling season, with meat and produce promotions typically dominating the front page of grocery circulars around the country. This year, however, the tight meat supply created a starring role for fresh produce in many of the weekly ads.
Two months after panic purchases drove the biggest sales weeks in the history of modern grocery retailing, coronavirus-related shopping patterns for produce appear to be settling into a steady elevated trend line.
Anne-Marie and I discussed the latest sales numbers from IRI, week ending April 26, which showed a 23% bump in fresh produce sales at retail.
Following a tough week that went up against the Easter 2019 sales bump, fresh produce gains jumped right back into the double-digits the final week of April. Fresh produce growth for the week of April 26 versus the comparable week in 2019 increased 22.9%.
Fresh produce growth for the week of April 19 versus the comparable week in 2019 did increase, but much less so then seen in prior weeks, at +3.3%.
The fundamentally different consumer engagement with produce amid COVID19 continued to show a three-way split of the produce dollar between fresh, frozen and shelf-stable during the week of April 5.
March 29 marks the end of what has been, for most people, the third week of tightening social distancing measures caused by the rapid spread of the coronavirus.