Southeast Produce Council Shares FMI Report Highlighting Produce Department Growth; Rick Stein Comments



Southeast Produce Council Shares FMI Report Highlighting Produce Department Growth; Rick Stein Comments


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ARLINGTON, VA - One of the key benefits of attending Southeast Produce Council’s (SEPC) Southern Exposure event is the valuable insights that are brought to the industry. At this year’s show, FMI – The Food Industry Association released the Power of Produce 2023 report, in which the organization revealed that produce department sales grew 4.8 percent to $74.5 billion in 2022 even as inflation impacted the price of fruits and vegetables.

Rick Stein, Vice President of Fresh Foods, FMI - The Food Industry Association“Consumers are continuing to purchase produce at roughly the same volume as in 2021 despite rising prices due to inflation. The shift we’re noticing is that shoppers turned to more affordable conventional fresh fruits and vegetables and canned and frozen vegetables rather than buying pricier organic items,’’ said Rick Stein, Vice President for Fresh Foods at FMI. “Shoppers are searching for deals, but also willing to pay more for convenience—like pre-cut and washed products. This shows how complicated the consumer decision process is. On one hand, shoppers are saying price is important, but when it comes to convenience, they are willing to pay.”

Power of Produce 2023 is FMI’s eighth in-depth look at produce consumption and buying habits through shoppers’ eyes, a press release noted. One of the findings of the report showed that more consumers are turning to value-added produce and packaged salads, with 68 percent of shoppers saying they’d like their store to carry a bigger selection of these time-saving products, despite higher prices and inflation.

At this year’s show, FMI – The Food Industry Association released the Power of Produce 2023 report, in which the organization revealed that produce department sales grew 4.8 percent to $74.5 billion in 2022 even as inflation impacted the price of fruits and vegetables

Other key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • Sales of fresh fruits and vegetables reached $75 billion as prices climbed due to inflation, but pounds sold declined as 84 percent of consumers implemented money-saving measures, including looking for sales specials, buying less, and shifting between types and stores
  • One-third of Americans typically consume fresh produce daily, while a majority (58 percent) say they eat fresh produce at least four to five days a week
  • After several years of aggressive growth for organic, the trend reversed last year, as organic produce volume decreased in 2022
  • More than one-third of shoppers want more information on recommended daily totals and what constitutes a serving size when it comes to produce, while close to half of consumers want more information about the nutrition content, health benefits, and ways to integrate produce into snacking

The Power of Produce 2023 was conducted by FMI and made possible by Yerecic Label, Southeast Produce Council, and Invafresh. To view more details of its findings, click here.

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Southeast Produce Council

The Southeast Produce Council (SEPC) is a member-driven, non-profit association of more than 2,500 leaders from all…