What you need to know

Fruit has maintained a slow, steady sales growth for much of the past decade, growing 13% from 2015-19. 2021 will see a decline, as the category returns to a degree of normalcy, but fruit is well positioned to leverage a reputation as a largely healthy snack and even drink option and should see sales resume their steady growth as consumers seek to improve their health. Fresh fruit will remain a much larger segment than the non-fresh portion of the market, but the latter could well leverage drivers related to nutrition and safety to resonate with consumers emerging from a pandemic and seeking a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their households.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • Consumer stockpiling led to a significant sales jump for most fruit, particularly in the area of frozen, an increase that will be temporary and followed by an adjustment in 2021.

  • Economic recession leads to consumers embracing private label fruit to an even greater degree, with brands likely to lose further market share.

  • Packaged fruit sales have long languished in the shadow of fresh fruit, but in the wake of a pandemic, non-fresh fruit could leverage food safety to resonate with consumers.

  • Locally sourced fruit options are of keen interest to consumers, but retailers and brands alike will be challenged to leverage a “local” message.


For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

This Report expands on the analysis presented in Fruit – US, August 2019, as well as the June 2018, June 2017 and previous iterations of the Report. The Report covers the US market for fruit, which is defined as the following:

  • Fresh fruit – includes whole fruit (including random weight and packaged uniform weight) and fresh-cut packaged fruit

  • Canned/jarred fruit – shelf-stable jarred/canned fruit

  • Frozen fruit – bagged/boxed in the freezer section

  • Dried fruit – such as apricots, dates, prunes, raisins and banana chips

Unless otherwise noted, the following foods are excluded from the scope of this Report:

  • Fruit juices, drinks or smoothies

  • Fruit jams, purees, sauces (including apple sauce) and spreads

  • Fruit snacks (such as fruit rolls, bars, pureed pouches)

  • Frozen fruit novelties (even those made with 100% fruit)

  • Refrigerated prepared side dishes that include fruit

  • Vegetables

COVID-19: Market context

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic, and on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in the US.

Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, remaining in place through May, and in some cases June. During this time, referred to as lockdown, non-essential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations.

During re-emergence, all 50 states have relaxed stay-at-home orders and allowed businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place. The continued spread of COVID-19 infections has driven some states to slow down or reverse course on reopening plans. Mintel anticipates the US will remain in a state of flux through 2021, until a vaccine is available.

Economic and other assumptions

The fruit sales forecast and subsequent analysis assumes:

  • Unemployment will settle at 10.6% in 2020 before incrementally improving over the next five years.

  • US GDP will decline 5.8% in 2020 and increase 4% in 2021, followed by continuous increases until 2025.

  • Consumer confidence stood at 78.1% as of June 2020, a 5.8 point improvement from May of 2020 and a 6.3 point improvement from April, indicating that consumer confidence is on an upswing and will continue improving throughout the rest of the year.

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