Value-added vegetable sales grew 7.3% in 2019 to nearly $1.6 billion, according to the latest FreshFacts on Retail report from the United Fresh Produce Association.
Volume sales for the category increased 5.6% to 520 million pounds. Mixed vegetables, broccoli, carrots and celery were the items that made the top 10 list of value-added produce categories, per the report.
While fresh-cut carrot volume sales declined nearly 5% in 2019, mixed vegetables saw a 3.8% bump, broccoli saw a 9.7% volume increase, and celery skyrocketed 33.2% on the strength of the juicing trend tied to the vegetable. All four items saw dollar sales grow.
Most of the value-added vegetable sales are in the meal prep segment, per the report. Fruit has the opposite situation; most of its value-added sales are in snacking.
Value-added fruit contributed nearly $2.6 billion in 2019, accounting for 4.1% of total produce sales. The value-added vegetable contribution is 2.5%.
Pre-packaged salads, which are reported outside the value-added section, brought in more than $4.9 billion in 2019, up 5.6% from the previous year. Volume sales grew 4.7% to 1.7 billion units. A whopping 79% of households bought pre-packaged salads in 2019, per the report.
Dollar sales for the pre-packaged salad category exceed those of any other category by a wide margin. One development in the category in 2019 was the increased share of salad kits, from 25% to 27.3%.