According to the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Produce Market Watch Weekly, sales of produce continued to rise during the ninth week of coronavirus-related shopping (the week ending May 16). PMA partnered with 210 Analytics and IRI to understand the effect for produce in dollars and volume throughout the pandemic. They found that fresh produce growth for the week of May 10 versus the comparable week in 2019 increased 17.1%—virtually unchanged from the prior week.
Fresh vegetables continued to outperform fruit, but both achieved double-digit increases. Meanwhile, consumer interest in all three temperature states for fruits and vegetables continued, with dollars split between fresh, frozen, and shelf stable. Frozen produce had the highest gains, up 39.2%, despite continued high out-of-stocks in the frozen food aisle. Shelf-stable produce was up 28.8% compared with the same week in 2019.
“We have seen double-digit increases for fresh produce seven out of the past nine weeks,” said Joe Watson, vice president of membership and engagement for PMA. “I am encouraged to see another week of 17% year-over-year growth. In addition to the elevated everyday demand because of more at-home meal occasions, the summer season has many holidays and celebrations, opportunity for backyard cookouts, and slowly getting families and friends back together.”
Compared with the same week in 2019, fresh produce generated an additional $209 million in sales during the week of May 10. Growth rates were in line with the previous week’s levels. Fresh vegetables, at +23.1%, continued to outperform fresh fruit and experienced double-digit increases for eight out of the last nine weeks.