January, 2023 - Insights to action

In 2022, consumers altered shopping behavior to align with the changing economic environment

  • Inflationary pressures had a significant impact on produce demand. Produce dollars grew 4.8% to $75B, while volume finished down (3.6%).
  • The fourth quarter of 2022 showed trends stabilizing somewhat entering 2023. During the last four weeks, dollars were up 3.4%, while volume was only down (1.0%).1
Produce - U.S. Multi-Outlet, Full year of 2022. 

Regional Performance (Full Year 2022)

The Southeast led the way at +7.0% versus 2021, with Food Lion and Club stores gaining market share on Publix within the region. Conversely, the Northeast continues to lag U.S. trends with only 2.7% growth with value leaders WM and Market Basket gaining share.1

Map of regional performance. 

Top 10 fruit and vegetables $ (millions)

  • Berries continued to grow in 2022 and now account for 11.4% of all fresh produce sold. Berries dollar growth came in at +5.3% and volume of +3.8%.
  • At-home meal mainstays, such as potatoes and onions also saw significant growth in 2022.1
Top ten fruits and vegetables in dollars. 

Shoppers are engaged…still paying more for less

Produce buyers continue to make more trips to buy fruits and vegetables, spending more dollars per trip, but are still walking away with less volume than they were a year ago.5

Increased store traffic, paired with a value mindset, have forced retailers to review assortment to meet consumer needs. Optimizing the portfolio will be a focus for retailers in 2023.

Volume per trip, dollars per trip, dollars per buyer, trips per buyer. 

In 2022, dollars continued to shift away from traditional grocery

Although still the largest channel of produce, traditional grocery continues to lose share of market to more “price focused” retailers such as discount grocers, Walmart, and Club, as consumers are feeling inflationary pressure.5

Bar graph of top retail accounts - total U.S. 

ecommerce has established itself at a 2.6pt dollar share of produce sales…5x larger than 2018

Momentum in this channel should continue, but at a reduced rate as it cycles impressive growth numbers.5

Bar graph of total dollar sales and top ten reporting. 

A price to pay1

  • In 2022, produce price per pound increased by 8.6%, with trends improving in Q4. During the last four weeks, produce price eased to a +4.4% increase and fruit finished at 1.4%.
  • Inflation is expected the ease in 2023, but consumers have gravitated to base price leader channels. Shopper retention and engagement in traditional grocery can be improved with personalization and promotional activity.
Price per volume, price/volume,  percentage change vs 2021, and percentage change vs 2020. 

With inflationary pressures, consumers continue to eat more at home4

Graph of share of total meals prepared at home by month (%). 

Dial-A-Truck Refrigerated Load to Truck Ratio3

  • The 2022 ratio metrics started elevated but continued to decline throughout the year, finishing significantly lower than last year’s ratios.
  • Current fuel rates were $4.58 per gallon in December; which is 10.3% lower than November, but still 30% higher than December 2021.3

Calc - Divide the number of load posts by the number of truck posts on DAT load boards, and that’s the load-to-truck ratio. When there are a lot of load posts, or there are very few truck posts—or both—the load-to-truck ratio goes up. If there aren’t many loads, or there are a lot of trucks available, the ratio goes down.

Graph of reefer load to truck ratio. 

Trends that may shape 2023

Trends that may shape 2023. 

The Super Bowl generates a significant lift in produce sales each year

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Promotional period January 29–February 12, 2023

  • Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest food consumption day of the year, behind only Thanksgiving
  • Over the past three years, the Super Bowl has helped drive produce growth with annual growth rates of 7.3% in dollars and 6.7% in volume
  • In 2022, nearly 96 million pounds of avocados and 31 million pounds of limes were sold in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl
  • Other items such as tomatoes, onions, cilantro, carrots, and celery are also in high demand either as ingredients or stand-alone snacking items

Bar graph of total produce U.S. multi-outlet.

  1. IRI Integrated Fresh, Total US, MULO, Calendar Year 2022 Ending 1.1.23
  2. IRI Integrated Fresh, Total US, MULO, (Historical).
  3. DAT Trucking Industry Trends: Reefer, Data Trendlines 2022.
  4. IRI Latest Shopper and Performance Topline Insights Across Food & Beverages
  5. IRI Panel, Total TTL US All Outlets, Calendar Year 2022 Ending 1.1.23
  6. FoodIntegrity.org 2022
  7. Produce Blueprints Blue Book Services Jan/Feb 2023