( The Packer )

A previous post looked at the rise bagged produce in recent weeks

For example, I observed higher-trending prices for 5-pound and 10-pound bags of potatoes, compared with falling prices or count carton spuds. 

Some of my comments in the blog post speculated on the reasons for the popularity of bagged produce, whether that is convenience, cost, stock-up mentality or even food safety.

There were a couple of reactions on LinkedIn, both of which noted the competing trends of plastic reduction and the surging popularity of bags.

Also, check out the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group reactions to PMA’s campaign to address consumer COVID-19 concerns.

PMA’s first report on consumer sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic is revealing and points to changing consumer behavior in the weeks after social distancing and sheltering at home. The survey was conducted on April 1.

While a significant portion of consumers reported they are buying more fresh fruits (38%) and vegetables(34%), those that said they were buying less (13%)or a lot less (6%) gave these reasons:

Why would you say you are buying less fresh produce?

  • I am shopping less frequently so am concerned about how long it will last   (51%)
  • I am concerned about its safety/cleanliness (41%)
  • It is hard to find what I want in the stores where I shop (32%)
  • It costs too much/am having financial issues (20%)

How produce sales are dented by the financial hardships of consumers will be something to watch over the next couple of months.

Here are a few charts showing price trends over the past few weeks.