“But we’re not seeing a ‘step-up’ in that growth,” DeLaney said. Growth is “choppy, but it’s still positive.”
Sysco’s higher food costs suggest recent declines in fruit and vegetable prices may reverse, or at least moderate, soon.
During June, wholesale prices for fresh fruits and melons fell 16% from May levels on a seasonally-adjusted basis, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Fresh and dry vegetable prices dropped 22%.
At the retail level, average fruit and vegetable prices during July declined 1.9% from June, the bureau said in an Aug. 13 report.
Sysco said net income for the three months ended July 3, the company’s fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, rose to $337.8 million from $315.3 million during the same period a year earlier. Sales rose more than 13%, to $10.3 billion.
Food prices at supermarkets, aside from pricier beef and pork, remained subdued in recent months, government data indicated.
For food consumed at home, consumer prices fell 0.1% in July from June, and rose 0.7% from a year earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said in the Aug. 13 report.