U.S. retail produce sales spike during Father's Day week

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U.S. retail produce sales spike during Father's Day week

Sales of fresh produce at U.S. retail shot up 15.7% during Father's Day week, with fruit and vegetables both seeing strong gains.

Fresh fruit sales were up 11.2% year-on-year while fresh vegetable sales were up 20.7% in the week ending June 21, IRI data shows. Those numbers are closer to April levels than those seen over recent weeks.

“We expected Father’s Day week to provide an above-average boost and it sure did,” said Joe Watson, VP of Membership and Engagement for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA).

“The bump put us right back at mid-April levels with double-digit gains for both fruit and vegetables. There is a valuable lesson in this for holidays to come. Consumers are still celebrating, but most are doing so at home in smaller numbers — boosting grocery spending far above prior-year levels.

"This means we have to adapt our merchandising and marketing tactics accordingly.”

Produce sales U.S.

Jonna Parker, Team Lead, Fresh for IRI, said: "It is important to keep in mind that Father’s Day 2019 fell a week earlier on June 16,” said 

“This week, we have the benefit of holiday sales going against a regular week in 2019, so we will have to see if we can keep the momentum going and stay in the double digits.”

Up from three items last week, five out of the top 10 items saw double-digit dollar gain increases during the week of June 14 versus the comparable week in 2019. Peaches and grapes saw dollar sales pressure.

All vegetable categories but carrots increased sales by double-digits the week ending June 21 versus a year ago.

Lettuce was the top sales category followed by tomatoes and potatoes. Asparagus made it back into the top 10 lineup, dropping corn to number 11.

“The strength in the overall vegetable number comes from high consumer engagement across the board versus just a handful of big sellers,” said Parker.

“That bodes well for consistency and many more weeks of high gains for vegetables, especially as produce price inflation has been far less than in other fresh departments.”

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