SAN ANTONIO – After a successful Father’s Day sales weekend, sales in the grocery perimeter fell below the double digit rise over 2019 sales the week of June 28. According to the latest data from 210 Analytics and IRI, the total fresh perimeter experienced an 8.2% bump in sales over the same timeframe in 2019.
“We expected that the non-holiday week would mean a return to the small erosion of week-to-week sales gains,” said Jeremy Johnson, vice president of education for the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA). “And there is an important lesson in that. While next week’s report covers July 4th, which we expect to be big, we have many non-holiday weeks between Independence and Labor Day. It will be imperative to go back to retailing fundamentals to drive dairy, deli and bakery sales through optimized household engagement, trip frequency and basket size within the new normal.”
The dairy department experienced a 12.7% gain in dollar sales compared to 2019. Top performers in the category were whipped toppings (up 25.3%), eggs (up 24.1%) and natural cheese (up 19.1%).
The deli department went back to continued mixed results the week of June 28, with the entire department down 11.3%. Deli cheese sales were up 8.4%, deli meat sales were up 5.8% and deli prepared was down 23.1%.
“During the final week of June, deli prepared assortment remained down about 16% versus normal levels,” said Eric Richard, industry relations coordinator with IDDBA. “Prepackaged means we have to take very careful decisions on assortment, focusing on high velocity, highly profitable items that help us differentiate from the competition. As restaurant business is gearing up, now is the time to be very visible with deli offerings and make access very easy.”
After Father’s Day weekend gave the instore bakery its first boost into the above-2019-sales category, sales the week of June 28 fell back into negative gains at 8% below 2019 sales. Holding down the category were donuts (down 42%), rolls (down 15.8%) and breakfast items (down 7.5%). Croissants were the best performer in the category, up 12.9%.
Still in double digit dollar sales gains, the meat department totaled sales 15.8% above sales in the same timeframe of 2019. Volume sales gains, however, fell into the negative, down 0.6% for the category. The heightened dollar sales continue to stem from enhanced meat prices across the category.
Dollar wise, lamb (up 39.1%), beef (25.7%) and pork (up 21.8%) were the top performing meats. Chicken was up 11.8% and turkey was up 20.4%.
In the produce category dollar sales gains fell to 5.8%. Fresh vegetables are still outperforming fresh fruit, with vegetable sales up 12.5% and fruit sales retaining a slight gain of 0.2%. The top performers in the department were oranges (up 51.8%), mushrooms (up 26.5%) and lemons (up 23.2%).
“Banking on elevated everyday demand alone, we expected this week to be down from the prior week,” said Joe Watson, vice president of membership and engagement for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). “However, the decline to single-digit gains shows that we need to continue to work hard to stay ahead of last year. Next week, we will have the benefit of the July 4th holiday, but after that, we have many regular weeks until Labor Day and going back to our basic merchandising principles to optimize planned and impulse purchases is key.”