The latest FreshFacts on Retail from the United Fresh Produce Association delved in to some hot trends for consumers, including meal kits, value-added and organic produce.

Overall, organic produce sales grew 9.1% in the first quarter of 2018, to a total of $1.8 billion, according to the report, put together by Nielsen.

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Fresh fruit posted an 11.2% gain in volume per store per week, and an 11.1% gain in dollars per store per week.

The real winner in growth, however, was berries.

According to the report the volume of berries increased 27.1% per store per week versus the first quarter of 2017, and dollars increased 22.5% with a boost from a -3.6% drop in average retail price.

Other organic produce items showing double digit volume growth in Q1 2017-2018:

Herbs, spices and seasonings      12.9%

Beverages                                           10.7%

Apples                                                  10.2%

Citrus                                                    10%

Another key call-out in the report is especially hot right now, with Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.’s recent purchase of meal kit provider Home Chef.

According to FreshFacts, only 9% of consumers purchased a meal kit online in-store, but 25% said they were interested in purchasing one.

United Fresh members can download the full report free of charge ($50 for non-members) here.


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