As the year comes to a close and retailers plan ahead for 2017, it’s helpful to look back and see what topped consumers’ grocery lists in 2016. As Canadians continue to take more of an active role in managing their health, they are making choices that are driving food trends and putting a greater focus on healthier options from the perimeter of the store. Fruits and vegetables across the store benefited from volume sales growth in 2016 contributing to sales of more than $10.7 billion in Canada.
Early in 2016, consumers were flocking to the frozen food section to stock up on fruit and vegetables through the cold winter months in Canada. However, it’s not just frozen fruit and vegetables that are making their way into consumer carts; fresh produce is also seeing an uptick in sales. As consumers look for options for healthy fats, avocados are reaping the benefit with a 23% increase in volume sales. Citrus sales in Canada across categories also saw tremendous growth in 2016. Limes, tangerines/clementines/mandarins, lemons and oranges all saw gains in 2016 to land them in the top 10, with sales increases of 8%, 6%, 2% and 1%, respectively.
Canadians also increased their consumption of vegetables through 2016. As cauliflower prices settled back to average prices this year after spiking in late 2015, consumers started adding the dense vegetable back to their menus, resulting in a 12% increase in volume sales. Yams (10%), zucchini (8%), asparagus (7%) and bagged lettuce (7%) round out the top five volume sales increase in Canada.