Organic Fresh Produce Sales Continue With Double Digit Growth in Quarter Three
MONTEREY, CA - As the organic sector continues to draw the attention of both retailers and consumers alike, the Organic Produce Network and Category Partners have released third quarter results for organic produce sales and volume, and the numbers show that the category is continuing to skyrocket.
“Once again, sales of organic fresh produce show no signs of slowing and continue to be a major growth opportunity for retailers across the country. In the third quarter, organics drove twice the dollar share compared to volume share—12 percent of total produce dollars and 6 percent of produce volume—underscoring why the growth of organics are so powerful and important to retailers,” said Matt Seeley, CEO, Organic Produce Network. “As consumers continue to shift from conventional to organic produce, substitution is driving incremental dollars.”
As retail trends across the industry have pivoted due to stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, consumers are preparing more meals at home than ever before, and in order to do so they have been reaching for fresh ingredients, including organics.
Due to the increased consumption of at-home meals, organic fresh produce sales peaked at $2.2 billion for the third quarter, according to the report, and made up 12 percent of all produce sales as well as 6.4 percent of produce volume.
Continuing on with patterns seen in earlier quarters this year, organic growth has maintained steady upward trajectory, seeing a 16 percent increase in the third quarter and 15.6 percent in volume, nearly double the numbers of conventional produce at 8.2 percent volume.
Of the categories seeing the highest numbers, packaged salads, strawberries, and herbs generated the highest growth in organic dollars during Quarter Three, together adding $105 million in incremental sales growth over the same period last year. Packaged salads alone accounted for 17 percent of all organic fresh produce sales.
Another leading cause for the sales spike in Q3 was the increase in availability, supplies, and selection of organic fruits. Categories like berries saw strong harvests, leading to strawberries ranking second in organic dollars during the quarter and blueberries coming in as the fourth highest dollar contributor.
In addition to berries, organic apples too remained strong and saw a nearly 20 percent jump in sales from $107 million the previous year to $128 million at the end of the third quarter. Organic grapes joined organic apples as a top 10 category in organic produce dollars, even after seeing an eight percent decline in quarter three dollars compared to last year.
Additionally, bananas continued to lead in volume of organic produce offering, with 18 percent of total volume—an 8.3 percent growth from the previous year.
“The Midwest and South continue to be the strongest opportunity regions for organic produce growth. Organic ACV dollars in those two regions lag far behind the West and Northeast,” said Steve Lutz, Senior Vice President of Insights and Innovation for Category Partners. “Even though organic growth is strong compared to conventional produce, growth rates in the Midwest are below every other region, with ACV volume and dollar performance in the Midwest less than one-half the rate of supermarkets in the West.”
Of the regions of the United States, the West led organic sales and volume, generating a 20 percent increase in dollars and 17 percent increase in volume compared to last year. ACV performance also saw growth in the third quarter from the previous quarter, averaging $8,751, a jump of nearly 25 percent from Q2.
To read the full performance report, click here.
How will the organic sector continue to boost its sales and volume over the next quarter? Continue reading AndNowUKnow for answers.