New Retail Market Annual Report Shows Produce Sales Grew in 2021

Toronto, ON – March 10, 2022 – The new Retail Market Annual Report produced by the Ontario Produce Marketing Association (OPMA) shows that melons, cut fruit, and specialty fruit such as kiwifruit, persimmon and pomegranate were key drivers of year-over-year sales growth in Ontario retail produce departments in 2021.


“We have seen produce sales increase due to a continued pandemic-related shift away from in-person dining venues that began in 2020. Produce suppliers and retailers continue to adapt and meet the changing needs of Ontario consumers,” said Stephen Reid, OPMA President.


According to the report, fruit outpaced vegetables in sales and tonnage growth, as well as inflation. The fruit market experienced a 2.3% growth year-over-year with stable tonnage at 0.2% – the largest tonnage gain being from stone fruit at 9%. Total inflation for fruit increased by 2.1%, with increases in most categories.


The vegetable market experienced negative growth in sales and tonnage. Total sales growth and tonnage declined by 0.3% and 1.4% respectively, while total inflation on the price per kg for vegetables increased by 1.4%, driven primarily by root vegetables, cooking greens, and field vegetables.


Organic produce outpaced conventional produce on sales growth with organic fruit sales increasing by 3.7% compared to conventional fruit at 2.2%. While organic vegetables sales increased by 4.7%, conventional vegetables declined by 0.6%.


The report identifies many opportunities for both suppliers and retailers. Suppliers can benefi­t from growth in emerging categories like specialty fruit and international vegetables as a means towards filling supply gaps. There are also opportunities for retailers to begin or expand organic choices for consumers in core categories such as berries, bananas, mushrooms and root vegetables.


Mike Mauti, Managing Partner of Execulytics Consulting, noted: “Extraordinary events continue to shape consumer demand in unpredictable ways. Only by closely researching the market could produce professionals across the supply chain have discovered the re-emergence of cut fruit as a growth category or that mushrooms are moving closer towards becoming an organic only category. The market research continues to identify key growth areas for produce suppliers and retailers as the province navigates through supply challenges.”

This report is based on NielsenIQ MarketTrack data for fresh produce sold in Ontario grocery banner, mass merchandiser and drug channels for 52 weeks ending October 9th, 2021.

Additional analysis was conducted by Execulytics Consulting. Access to the full report is available to OPMA members on the OPMA’s website.




About the Ontario Produce Marketing Association: The Ontario Produce Marketing Association is a member funded, not for profit organization whose mission is to connect people and information from field to plate.


For more information contact:
Rochelle Roye
Marketing and Communications Manager, OPMA