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Organic fresh produce sales see exceptional growth

opnetTotal organic fresh produce sales and volume continue their double-digit growth over last year, with May sales and volume increasing 16 percent from the same period in 2019, according to the May 2020 Organic Produce Performance Report released exclusively by the Organic Produce Network and Category Partners.

Organic fresh produce sales last month saw a continuation of trends established in March and April, with elevated sales across the entire supermarket as consumers continued at-home eating in the face of restaurant closures, albeit at slightly lower levels. As a result, May 2020 organic fresh produce sales topped $662 million.

Overall, organic sales in May increased by 16.3 percent in dollars, and 16.2 percent in volume from May of 2019, while conventional produce dollars increased by 18 percent and volume was up 15.5 percent. The May 2020 Organic Produce Performance Report utilized Nielsen retail scan data covering total food sales and outlets in the United States over the month of May.

“We continue to see the strength of organic fresh produce at retail and how consumers show no indications of shifting purchases away from organic fruit and vegetables,” said Matt Seeley, CEO of the Organic Produce Network.

Bananas continue to be the dominant category for volume growth, larger than the next two categories (carrots and apples) combined. Per the report, the top three categories — bananas, carrots and apples — also share a common trait: retail prices for organic options are priced relatively close to their conventional counterpart.

A broader trend reflected in the report is consumer purchases of organic ingredient products. “Of the top 15 organic volume growth categories, nine were vegetables," said Steve Lutz, senior vice president of insights and innovation at Category Partners. “Large volume increases in products like organic cauliflower, celery, herbs, mushrooms and broccoli continue to reflect a shift in consumer home food preparation habits since the beginning of the pandemic in March.”

The full May 2020 Organic Produce Performance Report  is available on the Organic Produce Network website.

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