Sweet trumps hot for popularity in the peppers category. By Haley Hastings sweet-bell-peppersPeppers were the seventh highest selling vegetable category, accounting for 2.9% of total produce department dollar sales during the 52 weeks ended May 30. Peppers average dollar and volume sales increased slightly during this time, up 3.3% and 2.5%, respectively. Peppers posted the highest contribution to produce sales in the East region at 3.8%. The East region also posted the highest average sales at $2,019 per store per week, an increase of 1.4%. Peppers posted the second highest contribution to produce sales in the Central region at 3.1%, followed by the West region at 2.8%. The West region posted the largest sales growth compared to the previous year, up 6.7% to $1,422 (the lowest contribution average sales of the four regions). The highest selling week for peppers during the tracked period was the week of the Fourth of July holiday, when sales reached $1,653 per store. The second highest-selling week was the week ended Jan. 10, at $1,648. The lowest-selling week for peppers during the tracked period occurred the week ended Dec. 6, at $1,200 per store. The three top-selling peppers varieties (sweet green, sweet red and “other sweet”) collectively accounted for nearly 80% of category sales. Each of these three pepper varieties increased or maintained dollar and volume sales compared to the previous year. Sweet orange peppers and sweet yellow peppers, the fourth and fifth highest selling pepper varieties posted significant dollar growth during this period, up 11% and 12.2%, respectively. This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in retail measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights.  



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