Adjustments on the US fresh fruit market
Sales of fresh produce appear to be levelling off in the US, after seeing a rapid surge in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, fresh produce sales in the week ending June 28th were up 5.8% from 2019 levels, which is markedly down on the growth seen in since April 2020. While vegetable sales were up 12.5%, fruit sales rose just 0.2%, according to IRI data. There is still strong performance in the frozen and processed produce segment, with the former up 15.1% and the latter growing 22% from the same time last year. Fresh produce sales stand at $1.36 billion in the week ending June 28th and account for around 83% of overall fruit and vegetable sales in the US. Canned fruit and vegetable sales amount to $155 million and sales of frozen produce total $124 million. The poor performance of fresh fruit sales is particularly worrying for suppliers of summer fruits such as melon, grape and stone fruit. In contrast, vegetables are performing well, with lettuce leading the way in terms of sales growth, followed by tomato and potato.