Phil Gruszka of Gruszka Consulting Reviews This Year's Fresh Produce
- by Kayla Webb
BAKERSFIELD, CA – The whirlwind that has been 2017 is drawing to a close, and before we look forward to 2018 and the opportunities it offers, Gruszka Consulting is looking back on what this year meant for fresh produce. Reviewing the state of the fresh fruit and vegetables business in the U.S., Gruszka Consulting has offered up a host of insights from the first three quarters of 2017 in the company’s latest Fresh Produce Review with data from FreshLook Marketing/IRI. Here to break it down for us is the man himself, Founder Phil Gruszka.
“2017 saw the fruit category boom. Overall, the category consistently saw growth in dollar sales, with price per pound up in each of the eight growing regions across all three quarters,” Phil shares with me. "Specific categories within the fruit category, such as berries, avocados, cherries, and tangerines, were the fresh fruit stand-outs of 2017. Berries continued their trend of strong multi-year growth. Avocados were also very strong in dollar trends, having one of the highest dollar growth rates, but were down in volume due to significant increases in pricing during the year. Cherries and tangerines also made the list for having the highest dollar growth rates through the first three quarters of the year."
The vegetable category, on the other hand, saw almost an equal dollar and pound growth for 52 weeks this year. According to FreshLook Marketing/IRI data, the only product categories that saw above average growth this year were bagged salads and potatoes–which accounted for almost 22 percent of all vegetable pound sales, unusual for potatoes–while in pound sales, peppers and cucumbers also performed above average.
"While all regions are currently up in dollar sales, there was a decrease in price per pound in the mid-south and south central growing regions," Phil adds.
Up and running for five years now, Gruszka Consulting is a full-service California-based consulting business, specializing in providing marketing services for the food and beverage industries.
Will the vegetable category take the reins of 2018 for a strong year in sales, and will the fruit category continue to excel across the board? AndNowUKnow and Gruszka Consulting will continue to report as 2018 blossoms before us.