Organic Fresh Produce Sales Up 4 Percent; Berry Category Leads; Matt Seeley and Steve Lutz Discuss
- by Jenna Plasterer
MONTEREY, CA - As more shoppers lean toward making health-conscious decisions when perusing store aisles, one sector is definitely experiencing the benefits: organics. According to the Q2 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report released by Organic Produce Network and Category Partners, organic fresh produce sales saw an increase of four percent in the second quartered of 2021, nearing $2.3 billion for the quarter. Leading the way is the berry category, which is currently the number one organic category in dollar sales.
“As we come out of the pandemic and foodservice channels have reopened, the widespread pantry loading that occurred during the second quarter of last year has subsided. The result is that many produce categories showed little, if any, growth in Q2 2021 when compared to last year,” said Matt Seeley, Chief Executive Officer of Organic Produce Network. “The fact remains organic fresh produce continued to generate year-over-year growth in sales and volume, while conventional produce declined against the same period last year.”
Organic fresh produce sales totaled $2.296 billion for the quarter, up 4.1 percent in sales and 0.2 percent in volume, according to a press release, illustrating impressive year-over-year (YOY) growth in the sector. Reigning as the top category, organic berry sales surpassed $435 million for the quarter. Overall, YOY berry sales increased by 19 percent in the second quarter, with volume up 16 percent.
The top 10 organic produce categories showed mixed results in both sales and volume for the second quarter of 2021, as noted in the release. Apples, lettuce, bananas, and citrus all registered sales gains with berries leading the way in volume growth, joining citrus, lettuce, and tomatoes in gains for the quarter.
“It’s apparent that consumer supermarket food purchases now increasingly reflect the more traditional buying trends versus COVID-inspired purchasing changes. It is also encouraging that even though consumer purchases of conventional produce were lower than Q2 2020, organic produce continued to generate growth,” said Steve Lutz, Senior Vice President of Insights and Innovation at Category Partners.
The Q2 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report also revealed that year-over-year organic sales and volume declined in the Western part of the United States during the second quarter. While the West continued to lead in both total sales and volume, the Northeast region saw the strongest YOY gains for the quarter, with dollar sales jumping 7.7 percent and volume increasing by 3.6 percent.
AndNowUKnow will continue to report on trends and buying behaviors in the fresh produce industry, so keep clicking back.