hile brands have become more
prevalent and increasingly visible in the fresh produce department, there’s a sizable void in
consumer recall of specific products—which
is both a challenge and an opportunity for category trading partners.
As consumer interest in fresh food heightens, so does the focus on product attributes,
such as type, package size and flavor. However, while not historically prominent in the
produce department, fresh fruit and vegetable brands have made considerable inroads
in recent years and now play an increasingly
important role in the department’s overall success, whose contribution is no small
• Between 2012 and 2016, the total produce
department grew $13.2 billion.
• In that time frame, dollar share of branded
produce increased 7. 7 percentage points
and now represents 38.5% of total produce
Branded Produce Growth
Dollar sales of branded produce grew by
8% from the previous year. In the 52-week
year ending Sept. 30, 2017, private label/
store brands also showed growth vs. their
unbranded counterparts, which have seen
declines across the total department.
Branded produce has also found growth in
the produce snacking category. Representing
a $1.1 billion market, branded produce snacks
represent 72% of dollar share of the total produce snack category, amounting to $44 million in growth from the previous year.
Despite the success of branded produce in
recent years, 55% of consumers don’t have a
specific brand in mind before they purchase
fresh produce, according to Nielsen’s 2017
Category Shopping Fundamentals report.
How Leading Produce Brands
Are Getting It Done
Top performing produce brands are succeeding by adapting to consumers’ evolving
needs, particularly in the areas of health and
wellness, convenience and packaging innovation. Thanks to more sophisticated marketing platforms and more engaging labels that
better tout these traits, leading brands in the
fresh produce channel are taking advantage
of clearly communicating exactly how their
products fit the bill.
Consumers are more connected than ever,
giving produce brands an opportunity to
engage directly with shoppers. Despite the
significant dollar share of branded produce
across the total fresh department, media spend
on fresh produce is highly disproportionate. In
fact, two brands account for 77% of produce
media spend, while less than 10% of produce
brands (with at least $1 million in sales) spent
any budget on advertising in the past year.
Brands have the power to influence consumer
decisions across the store. There are several
opportunities for produce growers and retailers alike to capitalize on the growth of brands.
Produce brands can leverage the reach
and loyalty of consumers who are in stores
shopping for fast-moving consumer goods
(FMCG) brands, the latter of which can take
advantage of the growth and frequency of
Developing branded produce products can
help expand consumer education around
label claims, which would lead to a more
comprehensive marketing strategy to engage
directly with shoppers about what qualities
matter most to them that influence purchase
decisions. The role of branding will continue
to elevate the value of fresh foods sold across
the retail space.
The Produce Dept. Is
Ripe for Brands
The role of branding will continue to elevate the
value of fresh foods across the retail space.
Source: Nielsen FreshFacts, 52 weeks ending Sept. 30, 2017
Branded Produce Drove Double-Digit
Total produce dollar growth vs. year ago
Media Spend on Fresh Produce Is
Disproportionate to Fresh Dollar Sales
Branded Unbranded Private Label
share of dollar sales
share of ad spend