Fresh Food

Q2 FreshFacts on Retail Uncovers Pandemic Trends

Growth continues in fruit and vegetables
Photograph: Shutterstock

United Fresh Produce Association’s Q2 2020 FreshFacts on Retail report uncovers trends triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, including the continued growth of fresh fruit and vegetable sales, the increasing popularity of e-commerce and the rise of in-home food consumption.

The report sponsored by Mucci Farms, a greenhouse grower, packer, shipper and marketer of fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada and the U.S., found packaged salads are a top-selling organic produce commodity, followed by apples and strawberries; however, consumer response to value-added fruit remained muted as value-added vegetables sales grew.

“The changes in consumer behavior sparked by COVID-19 have impacted sales across the entire store, providing many produce categories with an opportunity for growth as consumers cook more meals at home and look for products they feel will boost their overall health,” said Miriam Wolk, VP of member services for United Fresh. “Although basket size continues to level off and we pass the initial stock up phase of building ‘pandemic pantries,’ sales continue to rise as many consumers opt to remain at home despite easing restrictions.”

The e-commerce boom in April was likely due to an increase in consumer adoption, the report concludes. And while various degrees of “reopening” beginning in May led to more trips to stores and some leveling off of e-commerce, the trend of ordering online for pickup and delivery is expected to stay.

The United Fresh Retail Foodservice Board will host a webinar that dives deeper into the FreshFacts on Retail report on Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. EST. It will feature analysis from Mike Galaburda, client director of Nielsen’s Perishables Group, and provide an opportunity for produce professionals to gain a broader understanding of what may be driving current trends. Sign up for the webinar at unitedfresh.org, and download the entire FreshFacts on Retail Q2 2020 report here.

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