Fresh Food

Produce Takes a Back Seat to Beef

Fruits, veggies have played second fiddle to carnivorous inclinations in 2020
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While fresh produce nosed out meat as the No. 1 perimeter sales leader last year, fruits and veggies have played second fiddle to carnivorous inclinations in 2020. Total dollar sales in combined random- and fixed-weight produce reached $66.6 billion in multi-outlet retail, finds IRI.

But Jonna Parker, principal with IRI’s Fresh Center of Excellence, sees untapped opportunity in fresh produce as consumers continue to experiment with at-home meal preparation. “People have started cooking and embracing their inner foodie. They also have more time at home on their hands,” she says. “Especially when it comes to millennials and Gen Z, who had been more focused on foodservice. How do we keep them engaged in fresh food after the pandemic?”

And while total dollar sales for the department were up about 8% vs. a year ago, sales of most fruits—with the exception of berries, cherries and citrus—were down. However, shoppers are seeking fruit, such as oranges (up 23% vs. one year ago) that contain vitamin C and other immune-boosting properties.

“The 8% increase in total produce is not as high as in meat, but it’s still higher than usual,” notes Parker, who points to veggies such as peppers, mushrooms, potatoes and cucumbers—all with double-digit sales growth.

Total Vegetables

Total U.S. multioutlet | “YA” is the year ago for the same weeks ending 2019; 3 YA is the same weeks ending 2017 | IRI Unify in the Integrated Fresh database, which combines fixed- and random-weight items

Notes: Vegetables is composed of both fixed- and random-weight items and includes both whole commodity and value-added/pre-cut products organized by produce category | Top 15 vegetable subcategories shown, ranked by current 52-week dollar sales | All other vegetables is composed of 74-plus different subcategories of vegetables

Measures: Dollar sales refers to the total cumulative dollar sales sold for that product during the time period (not included, but used as reference); dollar sales change refers to the percent difference between the current and prior period for total dollar sales; dollar share to dept. refers to the total dollar sales of that product divided by the total dollar sales of the department to which it belongs; dollar share to category refers to the total dollar sales of that subcategory divided by the total dollar sales of the parent category

Total Fruit

Total U.S. multioutlet | “YA” is the year ago for the same weeks ending 2019; 3 YA is the same weeks ending 2017 | IRI Unify in the Integrated Fresh database, which combines fixed- and random-weight items

Notes: Fruit is composed of both fixed- and random-weight items and includes both whole commodity and value-added/pre-cut products organized by fruit category |Top 15 fruit subcategories shown, ranked by current 52-week dollar sales | All other fruit is composed of 13-plus different subcategories of fruit

Measures: Dollar sales refers to the total cumulative dollar sales sold for that product during the time period (not included, but used as reference); dollar sales change refers to the percent difference between the current and prior period for total dollar sales; dollar share to dept. refers to the total dollar sales of that product divided by the total dollar sales of the department to which it belongs; dollar share to category refers to the total dollar sales of that subcategory divided by the total dollar sales of the parent category

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