Photo: Walmart US
US fresh produce sales in March 2021 were down on the levels registered in the same month in 2020, but still ahead of the 2019 level. Bucking the trend were berries, which recorded sales increases of 28% compared to 2019 and 9% compared to 2020, according to a joint report published by 210 Analytics, PMA and IRI. Total produce sales for the four weeks ending March 28 fell 7.6% year-on-year. However, in comparison to 2019, fresh produce sales at retail were up 11%.
Fresh produce sales remained unchanged from February 2021 at $5.4 billion , a $435million year-on-year fall, but were up $524 million from the 2019 pre-pandemic level. This includes a $242million increase in fruit and a $283 million increase in vegetables.
Joe Watson, vice president of membership and engagement for the Produce Marketing Association said: “We knew the year-over-year picture would radically change come March in going up against the early pandemic spikes of 2020. But while the year-ago picture is always important, it is just as important to understand current demand relative to the pre-pandemic normal as the country is starting to open up a little more each day.”
Prices for fresh fruit and vegetables were 8-9% higher compared to March 2020 levels.
TAGS: US, retail, produce, March 2021