Local organics vegetable sales rose 2% compared to a year ago and mango movement continues to grow despite price increases, members of the La Mirada, Calif.-based Fresh Produce & Floral Council learned recently.
That information and more was contained in the FPFC Market Report for the first quarter of 2014 available online to FPFC members.
The FPFC Market Report provides sales data by price and volume for nearly every produce category in California’s four major markets: Los Angeles (including Orange County and the Inland Empire), San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco, said Carissa Mace, FPFC president.
Members are able to see how their categories performed during the past quarter and over the past 52 weeks, she said. They can compare their sales against the state or region, track trends and “prepare for the next big thing,” she said.
The report indicated that statewide, average weekly sales of produce in dollars was up 4% for the quarter ending March 30 to $122.1 million and up 7% compared with the previous year to $123.1 million.
Volume was up 1% for the quarter to 78.9 million pounds and up 1% on an annual basis to 85.4 million pounds.
Highlights of the Los Angeles portion of the report indicated that, compared with last year, total produce had a growth rate of 8% in retail dollars and 3% in retail volume.
Dollars grew at a faster rate than volume as a result of a 5% increase in average sales price to $1.35 per pound, the report said.
Fruit represented 52% of produce dollars in the region and exhibited gains of 7% in dollars and 3% in volume. Average sale price was $1.23 per pound.
Vegetables experienced 9% growth in dollars and 2% in volume with an average sale price of $1.45 per pound נan increase of 7% over last year.
Fruits showing some of the largest dollar-share percentage gains in the Los Angeles area compared to last year included lemons (up 28.8%), tangerines (up 27.1%), limes (up 25.2%) tropicals (up 14%) and dates (up 11.9%).
Vegetables showing the largest dollar-share percentage gains in the Los Angeles area compared to last year included name root (yams) (up 177.8%), kale (up 78.5%), beets (up 35.8%), brussels sprouts (up 19.7%) and cabbage (up 19%).
The report was launched in 2011 and continues to be tweaked.
“We are always listening to our members for ways to improve The FPFC Market Report,” Mace said. “Since its introduction, there have been adjustments large and small, and we feel like, with this version, we are really delivering the information that our members want and need.”
Steven Muro, president of Chatsworth, Calif.-based Fusion Marketing, which prepares the report, said, “We’re constantly adding more information, more measures and more categories.”
More features also have been added, like the Look Back section, where FPFC members can “look back in order to forecast the future (and) remind people of what’s coming up,” he said.
Members use the report in sales meetings, to see how they are doing compared to the category as a whole, to determine their positions against competitors and to make sure they are keeping pace with the market, Mace said.
“It’s also being used by grower/shippers to see how they are performing compared to other commodities and by brokers to see which categories are growing, which are losing share and where trends are developing,” she said.
In preparing the report, Muro said he discovered that, “The markets are uniquely different, and each of the retailers that make up those markets are uniquely different, as well.”