Kroger, Walmart Focus on Produce as Sales Soar

Grocers are freshening up their produce sections to draw in more health-conscious shoppers.

Fruits and vegetables are an increasingly important source of sales growth for U.S. food retailers eager to capitalize on rising consumer demand for fresh food. Grocers are expanding produce sections, stocking them with new and exotic varieties, and adding such services as juice bars and precut fruit and vegetable packs.

Produce sales in the U.S. rose to $62 billion this year from $60.8 billion in 2018, according to research firm Nielsen. Those sales are a bright spot for an industry facing myriad challenges. Heavy investment in delivery is straining an already-low-margin business model. Cereal, canned soup and other packaged products that historically drove profits are fading out of popularity, forcing grocers to find new ways to attract customers.

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