BOISE — Organic fruit and vegetable sales saw large increases, both in dollars and volume, in the second quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.
According to United Fresh Produce Association’s FreshFacts on Retail report, non-organic produce sales were also up during the second quarter and value-added fruit and vegetable sales continued to grow.
But organic sales were particularly strong.
According to the report, organic produce sales were up 15 percent in dollar value and climbed past $1 billion in the second quarter. Volume increased at the same rate, “which indicates the growth is more than a reflection of higher prices,” the report’s authors said.
United Fresh represents every segment of the fresh produce industry, including growers, shippers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, food-service operators and fresh cut processors.
The report’s data was based on sales at more than 18,000 stores.
Nine percent of all produce sales during the second quarter were for organic products, according to the report.
Weekly dollar sales per store for organic vegetables were up 13.6 percent and weekly volume sales per store increased 13 percent despite a 0.51 percent increase in the average retail price.
For organic fruit, dollar sales increased 18.8 percent and volume was up 17.9 percent despite a 0.73 percent increase in average retail price.
Weekly dollar sales per store for organic apples were up 6.2 percent but volume was down 7.8 percent due to a 15.2 percent increase in average retail price.
On the non-organic side, the report showed strong second quarter growth for many commodities, including apples, avocados, berries, citrus, onions, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Bananas, grapes, cherries and melons all experienced sales and volume decreases.
Highlights of the report include:
Weekly dollars sales of apples per store were up 13.3 percent and volume was up 0.1 percent despite a 13.2 percent increase in average retail price.
Weekly dollar sales for avocados were up 2.8 percent, volume was up 5.6 percent and price was down 2.7 percent.
For potatoes, average weekly dollar sales per store were up 3.5 percent because of a 5 percent increase in price but volume was down 1.5 percent.
Onions showed strong growth with 9.5 percent growth in dollar sales and 8.8 percent growth in volume despite a price increase of 0.6 percent.
Dollar sales for stone fruits were down 2.8 percent but volume increased 1.3 percent while the average retail price was down 4 percent.
The report also shows that value-added fruit and vegetable sales increased 3 percent and 8 percent, “which reiterates the shopper’s demand for more convenient options.”
According to separate report by the Organic Trade Association, the U.S. organic industry experienced its largest dollar gain ever last year, adding $4.2 billion in sales, pushing total organic food sales to $39.7 billion, an 11 percent increase over 2014.
Produce sales in this country have increased more than 25 percent since 2011, according to OTA, but organic fruit and vegetable sales have increased 123 percent and 92 percent, respectively, during that period.