FRESH/PERISHABLE FOODS: Fresh Is a Good Source of Green

Fresh and perishable foods are an important profit center for food retailers, who are expanding their offerings and improving their display facilities.

More than half of the executives who responded to an exclusive Retail Leader survey said their revenue from fresh/perishable food has increased over the last two years. More than 80 percent said they have offered new products in one or more fresh food categories, with deli/prepared foods, at 66.7 percent, being the leading category. A majority say they have expanded, revamped or otherwise improved the display space devoted to fresh food.

More than half of respondents said that 30 percent or more of their stores' total revenue comes from fresh food, with 9.7 percent claiming that half or more of their revenue comes from that source. It's becoming an increasingly important product category: 54.2 percent said their revenue from fresh food has increased over the last two years, and another 16.6 percent said it remained the same.

Fresh food that doesn't or can't sell is an ongoing challenge. Asked how much of their stock they end up discarding, 30.4 percent said it was 6 to 10 percent of the total, and another 26.2 percent put the total at 3 to 5 percent.

Retail Leader's economic survey suggests respondents are wary of overall economic prospects, with 41.3 percent saying they're neutral about current business conditions and 49.9 percent saying they're neutral about conditions for the next six months.

Q:In the past two years, how has your revenue from fresh food changed?
Q: What proportion of your revenue comes from fresh food?
Q:What proportion of your fresh food gets discarded?
How would you describe current business conditions?
Where do you expect to see business conditions for the next six months?