Value-added grows in produce

October 01, 2014

Weekly produce sales per store move up in both dollars and volume during Q2.

Value-added fruits and vegetables stood out in second-quarter 2014 performance, since most subcategories grew in both dollar sales and unit volume despite higher average retail prices. By contrast, most produce categories had higher tickets than a year ago – and slower volume growth or actual declines as a result, show the latest figures of the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA).

Nevertheless, average weekly produce sales per store did rise 4.5% in Q2 2014 to $51,475. Volume was up just 0.9% vs. the year-earlier period, and average retail prices were up 3.5%, noted data from the UFPA, Nielsen Perishables Group, and sponsor Del Monte Fresh Produce.

Since value-added preparations add convenience for more eating occasions – such as home entertainment, snacking and meals – and people continue to pay more to save time – The Lempert Report expects this will persist as a strong produce sector through the Q4 holiday season.  

In Q2, dollar sales of value-added vegetables grew 11.7% to $1,527 per week per store, on a 10.3% volume gain. This trend was powered the most by side-dish sales, which advanced 14.1% to $882 per week per store.

Meanwhile, dollar sales of value-added fruits grew 11.2% to $2,437 per week per store, on a 6.0% volume increase. Fresh-cut fruit led this trend, up 13.4% to $1,979 per week per store.

The Q2 report added a new section called Category Deep Dive. A focus on some of the department’s largest performers showed, for example, that:

  • Strawberries generated 54.3% of berry sales, on a 5.0% dollar rise and 1.8% volume growth.
  • Within citrus, lime prices shot up 63.1%, which led to a dollar sales gain of 49.5%.
  • Within packaged salads, organic and completes/kits both posted double-digit gains in dollar sales and volume.

The UFPA has provided this link for readers of The Lempert Report to acquire its Q2 report, which also covers organics, top sellers in fruits and vegetables, produce beverages and fruit juices: