Overall fresh produce retail prices were higher this quarter compared to Q4 2010, spurring dollar growth, but declining volume sales for some commodities. However, despite increased prices for value-added and organic produce, nearly all categories within those groups saw positive dollar and volume growth, according to the latest edition of FreshFact on Retail, the quarterly retail research report of the United Fresh Foundation.

The strongest growth this quarter was seen in organic produce, which posted double-digit dollar growth and positive volume growth, this quarter compared to Q4 2010. In addition, the value-added vegetable category saw a 7.0% increase in dollars and volume.

The FreshFacts on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories.

Highlights of this quarter’s report include:

  • Average retail prices for total produce rose 4.6% resulting in 3.3% increase in weekly dollar sales, but a volume decrease of 1.2%.
  • Six of the top 10 fruits and eight of the top 10 vegetables posted dollar sales that exceeded Q4 2010.
  • Apples and avocados were the only fruit categories this quarter to increase dollars, volume and average retail price; packaged salad, peppers and mushrooms were the only vegetable categories to report the same.
  • Organic apples were the top organic fruit variety and increased nearly 24% in both dollar sales and volume; organic packaged salad was the top organic vegetable category, up 13% in dollars and volume

Each FreshFacts report also features a Quarterly Spotlight on one industry segment in particular. This quarter, the report looks at organic produce sales and considers the categories and specific items driving sales trends. This spotlight highlights the fruits and vegetables that, regardless of higher prices compared to conventional counterparts, have shown dollar and volume growth, underscoring consumer demand for organic products.

The complete FreshFacts on Retail report can be downloaded free of charge for all United Fresh members ($50 for non-members) by clicking here. For more information about how to obtain the report, please contact Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at 202-303-3400 ext. 405. For questions about specific data contained in the report, please contact Kelli Beckel at the Perishables Group at 773-929-7013.