|500Foods shared this story from ProduceProMag on Twitter.|
The last full week of August saw the smallest produce sales increases since the start of the pandemic across virtually all departments. Prior months had shown weak final week of the month sales and, in this case, the results were further influenced by a much earlier Labor Day in 2019 that fell on Sept. 2.
That means the sales results of the week ending Aug. 30, 2020 ,went up against the 2019 Labor Day sales. Labor Day has always been a massive holiday week for grocery — making it a much harder holiday to beat than ones that had more of a split retail versus foodservice nature in typical years, such as Mother’s Day. Additionally, sales were negatively affected by more extreme weather events, impacting large parts of Louisiana and east Texas.
The net effect for fresh produce was a much smaller gain than those seen since the last week of June. For the week of Aug. 30, fresh fruit and vegetable sales increased 4.7% over 2019. Frozen fruits and vegetables had a much higher percentage increase, at +17.7% but is the smallest of the three temperature zones. Year-to-date through Aug. 30, fresh produce department sales are up 10.9% over the same time period in 2019. Frozen fruit and vegetables increased the most, up 26.8% year-to-date.
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