Monterey, CA—Organic fresh produce grew slightly in sales dollars and volume in the second quarter of 2023, reversing a trend of volume loss seen in 2021 and 2022, according to the Q2 2023 Organic Produce Performance Report issued by Organic Produce Network (OPN) and Category Partners. The report covers total food sales in the U.S., including all outlets (i.e., supermarkets, mass merchandisers, club stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, and military commissaries) during 13 weeks of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
Organic Sales Growth
Overall, organic fresh produce dollar sales increased by 1.5% for Q2 2023 compared to the same period last year, with sales for the quarter topping $2.4 billion. Volume movement nudged up slightly less than 1%, reversing a downward volume trend that started in 2021. During Q2 2023, conventional produce dollar sales grew by 2%, while volume declined by 1.3%, as total sales topped $18.8 billion. As conventional produce outperformed organic produce in dollar growth, it appears price increases on conventional produce are being more easily absorbed by consumers than the higher prices in organics, according to the report.
“The rate of organic sales growth—while still positive—slowed compared to past years, giving volume a chance to match that growth," said Tom Barnes, CEO of Category Partners. "This suggests that inflation, while still evident, is not as apparent in organic produce as it was in conventional produce this past quarter.”
Produce Leads Organic
Fast facts from the survey:
In the second quarter of this year, 11 of the top 20 organic fresh produce categories posted increases in dollar sales compared to the same period last year. Organic citrus posted the largest percentage increase, up 19.4%, followed by bell peppers, mushrooms, and cucumbers. At the same time, grapes and avocados posted double-digit declines for the quarter.
Berries and packaged salads were the two dominant organic fresh produce categories. They combined to top $850 million for the quarter. Berry sales showed a 3.3% increase from the same time last year, topping $454 million in sales. The packaged salad category was flat at $396 million in sales.
Noticeable volume gains for the quarter were seen in 12 of the top 20 categories, including double-digit gains with onions, citrus, and avocados. Organic celery posted the largest decline in volume, falling 23%, followed by grapes and potatoes, according to the data.