Check out more insights from the latest FreshFacts on Retail report at the United Fresh Produce Association website.

A new report indicates that fresh produce with labels including organic, non-GMO, greenhouse and local is generating an increasing amount of dollar sales.

During the 52 weeks ended Sept. 29, organic dollar sales grew 7.9%, sales of produce labeled non-GMO grew 8.9%, sales of produce marked as greenhouse grew 7.6%, and sales of produce described as local grew 23.2%, according to the latest FreshFacts on Retail report from the United Fresh Produce Association, which uses data from research firm Nielsen.

“Communicating transparency and added detail about the product has resulted in pockets of dollar sales growth,” United Fresh said in the report.

Products labeled as organic now represent 9% of produce sales, according to Nielsen, while 4.2% of produce sold is labeled non-GMO and 2.3% of produce is labeled greenhouse.

Many items carry more than one of those marketing claims. For example, organic produce is not allowed to be genetically modified, so those items can be tagged organic and non-GMO.


Consumer understanding

Nielsen also surveyed for awareness of these options within fresh produce.

According to the research firm, 84% of consumers are aware of the organic label in fresh produce, 69% are aware of the non-GMO label in fresh produce, 38% are aware of greenhouse-grown in fresh produce, and 85% are aware of locally grown marketing claims in fresh produce.

In addition, Nielsen found that most shoppers could correctly distinguish a correct definition from an incorrect one for organic, non-GMO, greenhouse and locally grown.

According to the report, 97% of people chose the correct definition for organic, 89% chose the correct definition for non-GMO, 88% chose the correct definition for greenhouse, and 69% chose the correct definition for locally grown.

The company did not provide the definitions it presented to consumers, so it is unclear what the depth of shopper understanding is regarding those labels.


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