Strong fresh produce sales are predicted for the autumn holiday season, according to a recent forecast by a retail analyst, based in Chicago. (This should also bode well for produce haulers because more product should be available.)
The report from the Nielsen Perishables Group says momentum is good following a solid summer selling season.
35 of 44 fresh produce categories posted volume gains in the summer of 2012, in large part because there were no significant losses of crops or food safety issues, according to the report.
The Nielsen Perishables reported both volume and sales of fresh produce were up 4 percent compared with the same period a year ago, for the 13 weeks ending August 25th.
Retailers offer smaller discounts on fresh produce items, which the Nielson report believes led to the volume of fresh fruits and vegetables purchases on promotions declining last summer.
Cherries were among the most successful produce items becasue of a huge 2012 crop driving a 20% growth in sales, the report notes.
There was nearly a 30 percdent price drop in avocados, driving sales up an anstounding remarkable 46percent. Value-added vegetables were also strong performers, with new products boosting sales, according to the report.
Nielsen projects continued strength in the fresh produce department for fall retail produce sales.
For produce alone, Nielsen forecasts holiday dollar and volume sales to grow 5 percdent and 4 percent respectively. Consumers may be troubled by economic uncertainty revolving around November elections.
“If consumers revert to their focus on price, expect to see steeper discounts designed to draw in shoppers during the vital holiday season,” according to the report.