USDA Report

Fruit ads increase 7% in run up to Memorial Day

Retailers planned for sweet success over the Memorial Day shopping period by increasing fruit ads by 7% over last week. Seedless watermelon was of course highest on the list, but the short cherry season was capitalized on this week as it was the second most advertised fruit. Strawberries, new crop peaches and nectarines, cantaloupes, mangoes, new crop grapes, berries, and pineapples gave the shopper plenty to choose from for fruit salads and cobblers.

Corn, asparagus, yellow squash, and zucchini were ready for grilling up next to the many meats that were showcased in ads this week. Total ad numbers this week were 351,632, a 4% increase from last week’s 339,648.

The total number of ads broken out by commodity groups: fruit 194,861 (55% of all ads), onions and potatoes 32,264 (9%), vegetables 122,216 (35%), herbs 1,102, and ornamentals 1,279. The number of ads for organic produce was 51,815, 15% of total ads.

The following are the prices of major advertised items (3,000 plus stores) this week, compared to the same week last year. Significant increases in price for fruit items this week included red seedless grapes at 18%, cantaloupes at 17%, avocados at 12%, yellow peaches at 12%, and miniature seedless watermelons at 10%. Significant decreases included 2 lb strawberries at 25% and 1 lb organic strawberries at 11%. There were no significant increases or decreases for potatoes and onions this week. There were no significant increases or decreases for vegetables this week.

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