Produce Buying Climbed During COVID-19

United Fresh Produce reports a rising number of fresh produce purchases in 2020, part of the unprecedented rise in food and beverage consumption at home brought about by shelter-in-place orders issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“Those closures have led to consumers drastically restructuring their eating habits, especially increasing their consumption of meals and snacks at home,” says Miriam Wolk, Vice President of Member Services with United Fresh. “Our current and future Fresh Facts reports will help the produce industry in leveraging current consumer behaviors and fresh produce purchasing trends.”

First-quarter data highlights show that with health as a top concern, consumers continued to buy fresh food with immune-boosting properties, while also supplementing with shelf-stable and frozen food options. Strawberries and raspberries benefited by extending their reach into more U.S. households. Among vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers were purchased in higher amounts by U.S. consumers.

The report also shows a variety of fruits and vegetables continue to influence overall organic growth, presenting many opportunities to innovate and attract health-conscious consumers.