Fresh produce had a good quarter in the fourth quarter of 2017. ( United Fresh )

Fresh produce volume gains led all retail fresh departments in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the latest FreshFacts on Retail report from the United Fresh Produce Association.

The 13-page report, produced in partnership with Nielsen Fresh and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, puts fresh produce retail volume gains in the fourth quarter at 2.2%, compared with only a 0.1% gain for meat, a 0.2% volume loss in deli and 1.7% volume loss for seafood.

Sales gains for fresh produce rated 2.5% in the fourth quarter, according to the FreshFacts report, second only to 2.7% sales gains for seafood and above the 2% sales gain for the deli department.

The report said sales growth for fresh vegetables in the fourth quarter of 2017 reached 3% while retail sales for fresh fruit were up 1.9%. Fresh vegetables showed volume gains of 1.3%, while fresh fruit volume gains were 2.9% in the fourth quarter, according to the release.

“Our members have shared that having access to fourth-quarter data is key to their annual planning cycle,” Miriam Wolk, vice president of member services for United Fresh, said in a news release. “This report shares this information, as well as the full year in review content that our members find valuable for benchmarking the industry year to year.”

For all of 2017, the report said that fresh produce led all perishable departments in average dollar growth for 2017, notching an increase of 1.3%. Volume gains for fresh produce in 2017 totaled 0.2%, according to the report.


Closer look

The fourth quarter 2017 FreshFacts report takes a closer look at retail sales trends for citrus, mushrooms and cooking vegetables, with comparisons with a year ago. Besides measuring sales trends for the top 10 fruit and top 10 vegetable commodities, the report also notes retail performance of organic produce and value-added fruits and vegetables.

FreshFacts on Retail report can be downloaded without charge for United Fresh members and $50 for nonmembers at the United website