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Retail performance in 2008 & expectations for 2009.

Did you know that fresh mushrooms are among the most popular items in the produce section? A May 2008 study by Rose Research found that fresh mushrooms ranked third (46 percent) after fresh tomatoes (56 percent) and fresh broccoli (47 percent) when consumers were asked to name their three favorite fresh vegetables. Recently released retail sales data from Fresh Look Marketing confirms fresh mushroom retail dollar sales continued to grow in 2008--up 3.9 percent for the 13 weeks ending August 24, 2008 over the same period in 2007. In fact, fresh mushroom sales have increased every audit period in 2008 with the first half results beating the first quarter sales growth of 2.4 percent. Aiding the first half sales performance was a steady period for fresh mushroom retail prices. Prices averaged $4.13 per pound--a decrease from $4.17 per pound for the first 13 weeks of 2008.

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In an economy where the most traditionally popular produce items are struggling, mushrooms have demonstrated consistent strength in pounds as reflected in retail quarterly sales reports. Mushrooms were only one of a handful of produce items to record positive pound increases over the last two consecutive retail sales reports ending in May and August 2008.

This figure is even more extraordinary when one considers that bagged salads, a historically profitable produce item, have experienced a first-ever decline over the past two quarters. Fresh mushroom sales growth improved across all but one of the Information Resources Inc. (IRI) regions with the Pacific Northwest showing the largest increase at 6.7 percent for the 26 week period followed by the North East region with 5.1 percent growth versus the same period in 2007. The Plains region that had been down-2.9 percent for the first 13-weeks rebounded to a +0.7 percent increase in dollar sales for the first 26 weeks versus 2007.

White mushrooms continued to account for the majority of first-half retail dollar sales with a 71.6 percent share. Sliced mushrooms also represented more than half of the first part of the year dollar sales accounting for 55.6 percent. Dollar sales of sliced Brown mushrooms increased to 13.6 percent for the first 26 weeks of 2008 while whole Brown mushrooms sales were up 7.2 percent for the same period versus the previous year.

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Title Annotation:mushrooms
Publication:Mushroom News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2008
Words:390
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