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Understanding the Dynamics of Produce Markets: Consumption and Consolidation Grow

by Phillip Kaufman, Charles Handy, Edward W McLaughlin, Kristen Park, and Geoffrey M. Green

Agriculture Information Bulletin No. (AIB-758) 26 pp, August 2000

Mergers, acquisitions, and internal growth among grocery retailers, largely since 1996, have increased the share of grocery store sales accounted for by the largest 4, 8, and 20 food retailers nationwide. Similar consolidation is occurring among food wholesalers. At the same time, new packaged and branded produce items are gaining acceptance with consumers and vying for shelf space in the supermarket produce department. Growers, shippers, and their trade associations fear the possibility of fewer buyers for their products, particularly if new marketing and trade practices such as volume incentive rebates and slotting fees become widespread. This report uses data from the Censuses of Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade and industry sources to examine changes in produce markets and market channels from 1987 to 1997 in the United States. It is the first in a series of reports that will examine competitive behavior in the produce industry.

Keywords: grocery retailers, produce, growers, shippers, food wholesalers

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Last updated: Friday, April 19, 2013

For more information contact: Phillip Kaufman, Charles Handy, Edward W McLaughlin, Kristen Park, and Geoffrey M. Green