Broccoli, lettuce, onions contribute to Q2 vegetable sales growth
Second-quarter vegetable sales totaled $7.68 billion, up 5.3% from the same period in 2018.
Fruit sales declined 0.6% to $8.16 billion on mixed performance of individual commodities, according to the latest FreshFacts on Retail report.
“Mandarins rebounded from supply challenges to return to strong double-digit growth,” the United Fresh Produce Association wrote in the report. “With just one commodity reaching more than half of all households during the quarter, opportunities exist to increase product reach.
“Private label also presents an interesting opportunity as it’s far less developed in fruit than vegetables but increased sales by double digits,” United Fresh wrote.
Strawberry volumes sales dropped 8.2%, and dollar sales fell 7.8% to $814 million. Oranges saw a 5.4% dip in volume, and dollar sales dropped 11.6% to $268 million. Avocados also saw a 7% decrease in volume, but dollar sales increased 10.3% to $639 million.
Mandarins saw a 23.8% increase in volume and 13.5% increase in dollar sales to $423 million, and raspberry volume grew 14.4%, spurring a 6.5% jump in dollar sales to $237 million.
Vegetables that fared well in the second quarter included lettuce, with dollar sales up 6.8% to $454 million; bell peppers, with dollar sales up 5.6% to $406 million; broccoli, with sales up 9.3% to $254 million; and onions, with sales up 15.1% to $553 million.
The value-added vegetable category also saw growth in the second quarter, growing 6.2% in volume and 8.8% in dollar sales to $391 million.
The following items saw both volume and dollar sales increase substantially:
- Mixed vegetables: +7.4% to 27 million pounds, +8.0% to $106 million
- Broccoli: +13.5% to 21 million pounds, +15.2% to $61 million
- Celery: +23.9% to 11 million pounds, +26.9% to $28 million
Organic produce sales also grew in the second quarter, reaching nearly $1.5 billion, up 3.9% from the same time in 2018.
Berries were among the organic items with the most growth since last year, with volume increases of 11% for strawberries, 15.4% for blueberries and 27.8% for raspberries. Lettuce and the herbs and spices category also saw significant increases.