Avocado sales continue to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic, with sales consistently and markedly higher than year-ago levels. ( File Photo )

Avocado sales have remained significantly higher than year-ago levels week after week even as the overall fruit category has settled closer to the 2019 baseline amid COVID-19.

Dollar sales of avocados for the week ending April 19 were up 10.3% compared with the same week in 2019, according to the Hass Avocado Board, citing IRI data. The overall fruit category saw sales decrease about one-half of a percent compared to the same week in 2019. The produce category as a whole was up 3.3% from the same time last year.

The only other staple fruit items to see double-digit increases for the week ending April 19 were citrus: oranges (58.8%), grapefruit (25.5%), limes (19.7%) and lemons (19.4%).

Bananas and tangerines also saw positive growth from 2019, although not as much as avocados and those other citrus items. Other fruits saw double-digit decreases compared to the same week last year, including grapes (-13.2%), melons (-9.3%), pineapple (-28.1%) and pears (-12.9%), according to IRI.

Avocados have seen elevated sales throughout the pandemic, with increases of 27.4% for the week ending March 15; 21.1% for the week ending March 22; 17.8% for the week ending March 29; 19.7% for the week ending April 5; 13.6% for the week ending April 12; and 10.3% for the week ending April 19.

 
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