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The organic fresh produce market felt the impact of inflation in Q3 as dollar sales were up 4.1% YoY while volume sales were down 4.5%, according to the Q3 2022 Organic Produce Performance Report from the Organic Produce Network and Category Partners.

Organic fresh produce prices were 8.9% higher per pound compared to Q3 of last year, boosting sales to more than $2.4 billion. In the same period, the price of conventional produce increased 10.3%, bringing sales to $17.93 billion.

High prices may be causing consumers to switch from organic to conventional produce. For example, the price of organic apples and lettuce increased by more than double the amount of conventional apples and lettuce, resulting in a volume decline of 15% for the organic products.

“Comparing the third quarter of this year to third quarters of the past three years shows organic volume declining—and more than three percentage [points] higher than the decline in conventional produce volume for Q3 of 2022,” said Tom Barnes, CEO of Category Partners. “Conventional produce outperformed organic produce in dollar growth, suggesting price increases in conventional produce have been more easily absorbed by consumers than the higher prices in organics.”

Berries and packaged salads continue to be the top two organic produce categories, responsible for nearly 40% of all organic produce dollars.

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