Fresh produce retail in US last year in nutshell

In 2009, total industry produce department sales reached $49 billion, up from $47.9 billion in 2008, with produce department share of store sales at 12 percent (the same this year as it was last year). These findings come from Progressive Grocer’s 2010 Annual Produce Operations Review, which was published in the October 2010 issue. Average weekly sales per store last year for the produce department were $26,623 with average annual sales per store of $1,384,415. Both represented slight increases from 2008.

In terms of problems facing supermarket produce departments, the biggest problem identified by retail executives who responded to the survey was competition from other retailers/retail formats. (Does it not remind you about heavy competition organize retailers face in India from pushcarts, small corner f+v shops or weekly bazars). It was followed by profits, shrink/spoilage, quality, wholesale prices, food safety, and transportation costs. Other challenges noted were training of employees/labor costs, and customer satisfaction/attracting new shoppers.

When it comes to figuring out consumer behavior, PMA members were asked to take a look at their brand-new 2010 study titled Identifying Consumer Trends in the Produce Category. More than a third of shoppers told PMA execs that they’ve purchased more fruits and vegetables this year than they did last, and those shoppers who rely on fresh fruits and vegetables for 85 percent or more of their purchases (rather than on frozen or canned) were more likely to increase their fresh produce purchases overall.



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