Grow Your Business with the Latest Fresh Foods Insights

The store perimeter keeps changing, and you need the latest data and insights to keep up. IRI's Fresh Center of Excellence is the leader in tracking and analyzing everything that's happening in perishables departments including meat, produce, refrigerated/dairy, seafood, deli, bakery and floral.

Integrated Fresh Solution – The Industry Standard

One of the biggest challenges with tracking fresh foods is that there has not been an industry-standard definition. Until now. In partnership with leading fresh foods industry organizations such as the International Dairy, Deli and Bakery Association, IRI has created the industry’s first syndicated solution for the marketplace on perishable items. Both fixed and random weight items come together for the first time for a true total department view.

Fresh Food Category Performance

Our complimentary monthly reports track fresh food sales performance across dairy, deli, bakery, refrigerated, meat/seafood and produce and include analysis on market conditions, shopper perceptions and what's expected next for the category.


April dairy sales were unchanged from March, totaling $4.5 billion. Most areas within dairy increased versus 2019 but decreased year-over-year, except yogurt which slightly advanced sales, up 0.9%.

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A year after shelter-in-place mandates crushed sales, deli is making a comeback. In April, deli prepared and deli entertaining sales increased 46.7% and 10.3%, respectively.

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Split by perimeter and aisle, the bakery department tells two very different stories. Compared to April 2020, bakery aisle sales fell short by 12.2%, while perimeter improved 21%.

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In April 2021, produce sales went up against record 2020 panic-buying numbers. The results were mixed but, compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic normal, demand is holding strong.

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Meat department sales spiked 35.4% in April 2020. Compared to year-ago levels, April 2021 sales dropped 22.5%, however, dollars slightly rebounded from March.

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Fresh seafood had a strong April 2021, advancing dollar, unit and volume sales year-over-year, while frozen and ambient seafood lost ground compared to the enormous spikes of 2020.

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Frozen foods were one of the few departments that increased trips and basket size last April. Now, overall trips sit well above year-ago levels, but frozen trips and average basket size declined.

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Weekly Changes in Fresh Food Demand

Data from the IRI Integrated Fresh Database is integrated into the IRI Demand Index, which offers a standard metric for tracking changes in spending. It measures weekly changes in fresh food and other consumer purchases by dollar sales against the year-ago period across departments, grocery aisles and retail formats.

Top Fresh Food News and Insights

In the News

CNBC – Why Americans Love Cheese

Thought Leadership

Consumers' Changing Relationship with Meals and Meat


Perishables in Our Post-Pandemic Life

Upcoming Fresh Food Events

June 22, 2021IDDBA: Dairy – IRI's Melissa Rodriguez will present.

July 21, 2021 – Top Trends in Fresh: Sustainability and Food Waste

October 19, 2021 – Top Trends in Fresh: Transparency

IRI partners with FMI to deep-dive into the latest consumer, brand and retail trends in fresh food at various times throughout the year as part of the ongoing "Top Trends in Fresh" series.

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95% of CPG, retail, and health and beauty companies in the Fortune 100 work with us.

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