Fruit sales on the rise, market trends show

09/14/2012 01:37:00 PM
Cynthia David

People ages 21-39 are showing an interest in fresh pomegranates, according to The Packer’s Fresh Trends 2012 survey.

Unlike last year, these younger shoppers were nearly twice as likely to buy the fruit as consumers age 59 and older, the survey shows. But the likelihood of someone purchasing a pomegranate continues to increase according to income, with 20% of households earning more than $100,000 saying they would buy the fruit.

Though the likelihood of a pomegranate purchase increased four percentage points from 2011, overall only 13% of consumers said they purchased pomegranates within the past 12 months, the survey showed.

Women with kids at home were more likely to purchase than those without kids.

Where you live also determines how likely you are to buy a pomegranate.

Western and Northeastern consumers are most likely to purchase the fruit, according to the survey, while only 8% of consumers in the South are likely to buy one.

Most consumers purchase conventional pomegranates, with 24% saying they bought organic fruit at least some of the time.

“Pomegranates are a superfood,” said David Anthony, director of domestic and Canadian sales for Oro Loma Ranch’s Ruby Fresh Pomegranates, Firebaugh, Calif.

“With their nutritional value, and with the many diverse cultures in the U.S. and Canada, they’re fun, exotic and colorful,” he said.

Though the numbers remain low, Justin Bedwell, president of Madera, Calif.-based Bari Produce LLC, said pomegranates have made remarkable progress in the past decade.

“They’re still popular during the holidays, plus we have all the health benefits of fresh, and we’re removing the arils and selling juice,” he said.

“It’s a remarkable change.”

Ray England, vice president of marketing for D.J. Forry Co. in Reedley, Calif., said consumers now look forward to seeing pomegranates in the store during the California season.

“For retailers it’s a shot in the arm at a time of the year when there aren’t that many items that can give you a sales boost,” he said.



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