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PMA Research: As Consumers Opt for Healthier Lifestyles, Fresh Food is King

Friday, 12 May 2017 | Posted in Industry/Consumer Trends by Renee Harrison

What’s driving fresh purchases?

When it comes to the dinner table, everything is a competition. Restaurants, take-out, meal kit services and grocery stores are all vying for consumers’ dollars, but one dominant trend has emerged in recent years – consumers are eating out less frequently.

According to a 2017 Reuters/Ipsos survey, about 72 percent of Americans cook from home at least four nights a week. Meanwhile, 40 percent of Americans now work from home all or part of the week, so they are going out to lunch less. And many consumers are trying to eat healthier, fresher, and consume less processed foods. When you consider these factors, it should come as no surprise that fresh foods are now driving total store sales and produce is a major contributor to that growth.

Produce is second only to the meat department when it comes to total fresh sales. According to Fresh Facts on Retail:

  • Produce accounts for 33 percent of total fresh sales and $52,098 of weekly per-store dollar sales — up 3.6 percent from 2015;
  • Fruit makes up 47 percent of produce per-store weekly dollar sales, and vegetables come in at 43 percent;
  • Berries reign supreme in the fruit category, contributing $4,561 to weekly per-store dollar sales — up 7.4 percent from 2015; and
  • Packaged salads dominate for vegetables at $4,081 weekly per-store dollar sales — up 4.7% from 2015.
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