May 2024 - Insights to Action

Strong season for fresh produce as we head into summer with consumers eager to create memorable experiences at home.

  • YTD, produce continues to outpace edible performance with dollar sales up 3.3% and LBs holding near 2%
  • Building off momentum from a strong Q1, produce dollars grew nearly 4% in the last 4 weeks to start Q2
  • The supply challenges seen in Q1 in some fruit commodities are easing


Bar graph showing YTD thru 16 weeks of different produce sold in dollars and lbs.


Fresh produce trends: Regional performance YTD (16 Weeks)1

The Southeast continues to lead all regions in growth.


Map of the United States and a table showing the regional breakdown of dollar share of produce, dollar percent change vs 2023, and volume percent change vs 2023.


Produce category top 10 fruits and vegetables YTD1

($ Sales)

Strawberries, blueberries, and mixed berries continue to show impressive growth. Supply chain challenges impacting other commodities may be contributing to this growth.


Bar graph of different produce and sales in dollars (millions).


Commodity spotlight: Corn

Anticipation for summer’s grilling season is marked by the rise in corn’s popularity, a staple that boasts a 46% household penetration. This essential ingredient not only signifies the commencement of outdoor grilling season (often centered around Memorial Day and Fourth of July), but also reaches its peak demand in mid-summer. Corn being prominently displayed in-store helps customers prepare for the season, creating convenience and boosting sales.


Robinson Fresh Sweet Corn next to stats of repeat buyers.


The era of one-stop grocery shopping is over

Inflation is prompting consumers to visit various retailers 8% more often, disrupting traditional grocery shopping habits.

  • Shift away from supermarkets: The trend of single-supermarket shopping is declining. People are choosing specialty stores, farmers’ markets, and online outlets for particular items.
  • Online grocery shopping: Ecommerce has transformed the grocery sector, with online sales booming, particularly during the pandemic. The convenience of home delivery and price comparison online is highly valued by consumers.
  • Specialty stores: Shoppers are drawn to specialty stores for their unique offerings like organic produce, artisanal cheeses, and international foods, which cater to specific diets and provide a personalized shopping experience.
  • Health and wellness trends: Today’s consumers are increasingly health-focused, preferring fresh, organic, and local foods. Specialty stores meet these needs with premium products.
  • Convenience and time-saving: Time-saving options such as meal kits, subscription services, and ready-to-eat meals are popular among consumers, helping them skip long supermarket visits.
  • Grocery delivery services: Grocery delivery has become widely accessible through services like Instacart and Amazon Fresh, allowing consumers to have groceries delivered from preferred stores.

View the full Wall Street Journal article


Four different grocery store scenes side by side.


Impacting shopper behaviors: Rethinking grocery loyalty

In the fiercely competitive grocery industry, loyalty programs play a pivotal role. However, their impact on financial growth is more nuanced than expected.

  • High enrollment, varied influence: Over 70% of grocery shoppers participate in loyalty programs. Yet, store proximity and convenience often outweigh loyalty incentives in shaping shopping behavior.
  • Paid memberships: While paid memberships provide value to consumers, they also create a sense of loyalty as members seek returns on their investment.
  • Digital presence matters: A robust digital component is critical for modern loyalty programs, enhancing accessibility and convenience.

Beyond traditional loyalty programs, retailers should focus on the entire customer lifecycle to drive market share growth.

View a full review by Upside


Table showing breakdown of loyalty programs at each U.S. grocer.


Maximize Independence Day produce sales 1


of consumers expect to celebrate Independence Day4

of consumers expect to gather with friends and family4

of consumers expect to spend of consumers are looking to buy grocers4


From themed displays to BBQ essentials and healthy snacks, there are numerous opportunities to meet customer needs and boost sales during this patriotic holiday.

Themed displays: Arrange red, white, and blue fruits and veggies creatively in-store to inspire customers with patriotic themes for Independence Day.

BBQ essentials: Highlight in-store promotions on vegetables like corn, onions, and bell peppers, which are perfect for grilling or as a side dish. This will boost foot traffic to stores. Additionally, creating bundle deals like a “BBQ Pack” with a variety of produce can elevate Fourth of July sales.

Healthy snacks: Feature the cherries, strawberries, watermelons as a festive and healthy snack or desert options.

In-store and e-commerce activation and messaging: Leverage both channels to effectively cater to customers’ needs and preferences by:

  • Offering exclusives online discounts or bundles
  • Enabling cross-promote items by suggesting complementary products like fruits for grilling alongside meats
  • Facilitating pre-orders for party platters or BBQ packs with easy in-store pickup options\


Table and bar graph showing highly promoted commodities and what percent sold on promo.


  1. Circana Integrated Fresh, Total US, MULO, Calendar Year 2023 Ending 04.21.24
  2. Circana: Panel Data Calendar Year Ending 2023 Total US MULO
  3. Circana Syndicated POS: Total US MULO, Two weeks leading up to Fourth of July 2023
  4. Numerator 2024 Holiday Preview 01.19.2024 (n=5,132)