Because of stable volume and higher pricing, retail fresh produce sales in 2013 were up 4.8 percent, according to the review edition of the United FreshFacts on Retail Report. The United Fresh Produce Association report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, showed annual trends for top fruits, vegetables, value-added produce and organic commodities.
A strong year in 2013 was enjoyed by organic produce, with sales gains of near 20 percent for both organic fruits and vegetables compared with 2012. Fruits saw strong sales gains in 2013 includingd avocados (11.7 percent), specialty produce (11.5 percent), citrus (8.9 percent) and apples (6.5 percent).
The highest sales gains with vegetables in 2013 were cucumbers (7.8 percent), cooking vegetables (7 percent), packaged salad (6.7 percent) and onions (6.5 percent). Volume gains for fruits in 2013 were topped by avocados (10.3 percent), stone fruit (5.1 percent), citrus (3,3 percent) and apples (2.4 percent).
The top gains in volume for vegetables included peppers (3.9 percent), packaged salad (3.8 percent), and carrots (1.7 percent).
Highlights for 2013 in the report include: produce department sales averaged $47,000 per week per store, up 4.8 percent from 2012; volume sales declined for four of the top 10 vegetable categories; value-added vegetables posted an increase of 15 percent in weekly dollar sales; fresh-cut fruit sales increased 13.2 percent; organic fruit volume up 17.8 percent compared with 2012; and organic vegetable volume 14.2 percent higher than 2012.