Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

The frozen fruit and vegetable category continued to outpace last year’s sales, with a growth of 57.6%. Shelf-stable fruits and vegetables continued to grow with a growth rate of 46.3%. Seventy-nine percent of the total store fruit and vegetable dollars is on fresh produce, but a lot of these consumers are buying fruits and vegetable items in the center store as well.

Trends
Health

  • A popular fitness app’s sales (Peloton) are up 66% compared to a year ago, showing the continued interest in health and fitness at home.
  • Social posts are primarily related to produce, grocery stores, vegetables, and other holistic living terms.
  • While conventional produce sales are still larger than organic, organic sales are growing at a larger rate than conventional, showing the growing use of food as a part of overall health.

Empathy 

  • Consumers continue to focus on how companies are contributing and in what ways they are making an impact.

Grocery Store Perimeter 

  • Fresh sales have contributed the most amount of dollars to total retail sales over the last month.
    • Meat sales have been number one with produce being number two.
    • Vegetable sales are currently accounting for 54% of all produce dollars. Prior to March, vegetables made up 29% of produce sales.
    • Potatoes are the only produce item to show a week of triple-digit growth over the last year.
  • Five percent of produce shoppers are new or lapsed.
  • Fresh sales are contributing the most to total store share sales.
  • Fixed and random weight products are both growing even with a focus around packaged goods.
  • Thirty-three percent of consumers are now buying organic produce.
  • Ninety-two percent of consumers are showing positive sentiments on social media towards fresh produce purchased in-store.
    • Prior to March, 97% of consumers showed positive experiences on social media.

Center Store 

  • Frozen and shelf-stable items continue to grow, particularly in fruits and vegetables.
  • Forty-six percent of frozen fruit and vegetable buyers are new or lapsed shoppers.
    • Frozen potatoes are the number one item in the frozen vegetable’s category, selling $68.3 million in dollars and 43 million in volume sales.
  • The new consumers in these categories are interacting with lots of CPG marketing dollars and are reporting positive experiences on social media.
    • The marketing around frozen and shelf-stable fruits and vegetables are using similar terms, such as “fresh,” to describe produce and are appealing to consumers.
  • Before March, there were very few consumers who were purchasing from both produce and center store for fruits and vegetables. Now they are. Center store produce items have increased 15-30%.
  • Forty-eight percent of center store consumers are repeat purchasing fruits and vegetables from these departments.

Online 

  • Twenty-two percent of consumers are now consistently purchasing groceries online.
    • The majority of these consumers use click and collect options where they order online and pick up curbside at the store.
    • Ninety-two percent of these consumers plan to continue purchasing this way after everything reopens.
  • Education for consumers in this space is highly encouraged by retailers.

Total Store 

  • Grocery retailers remain the largest beneficiary of growth dollars.
  • Costco sales declined in April after panic buying subsided.
  • Consumers are still showing a preference for packaged items, and retailers are following the same preferences.
    • Certain cities/counties with plastic bag bans are having difficulty managing these changed measures from retailers.
  • Sixty-nine percent of consumers are cooking more food at home, with 91% of households now making consistent meals at home.
  • Retailers are figuring out how sustainability can function in a store focused on cleanliness and an efficient supply chain.
    • The majority of focus in this category has switched from packaging to an increased focus on food waste.
    • While food waste was a focus before March, it has become even more important as consumers continue to analyze the supply chain.
  • Local is expected to play a significant role in consumer summer grocery shopping coming in second to price.
  • Price-efficient products are expected to perform well throughout the next six months.
  • Thirty-three percent of consumers believe they still have at least six months dealing with the virus, if not more. This is up from 11% the week prior.
  • Eighty-one percent are planning on waiting longer to eat at restaurants and plan to continue cooking at home or ordering take-out.
    • Thirty-four percent will wait a few weeks after everything opens.
    • Forty-seven percent are planning to wait a month or more after restaurants open.
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Volume 14, Issue 48 | December 2, 2022

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