THE retail market for fresh produce is now valued at €1.12 billion, according to the latest Bord Bia research.
Michal Slawski, horticulture division, said while the value is down 7% compared with the previous 12 months, volume sales are only down slightly, which shows great resilience by this category in a challenging retail environment.
“Fruit and vegetable sales are unlikely to drop significantly in the long run as they rightly remain at front of the health agenda which motivates consumer spending.
“However, uncertainty about the economy is most likely the driving force behind the drop in the value of sales, with consumers keen to seek out value, and retail activity taking place to offer them this value.
“Within the different sectors though, some areas are performing better than others. Salad crops have performed well, particularly in the 12 weeks up to the end of June. This is likely a reflection of a better than average start to summer, with volumes of lettuce, cucumber and peppers all up, and cucumbers and lettuce up in value as well.
“Mushrooms volume sales have been good over the year, up 4.6 %, and the reason for this is the cold temperatures this winter which contributed to a demand for filling hot meals containing mushrooms.
“Carrots also performed well with a 5.5 % increase in the volume of sales, as with mushrooms helped by meal choices over the cold winter, and also by a increase in home cooking which is a general trend in response to more trying financial times.”
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