Fruit & Vegetable Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 1,551 fruit and vegetable manufacturers in the US produce frozen foods and juices; canned fruits, vegetables, and specialty foods; and dried and dehydrated foods and mixes. Canned foods account for about 46% of industry revenue, while frozen foods are 45%. The fruit and vegetable manufacturing industry is concentrated – the top 50 companies account for about 64% of industry revenue.

Variable Fruit And Vegetable Supply

The supply of fruit and vegetables available for processors varies by season and year to year due to changes in growing conditions and the number of acres harvested by growers.

Stricter Food Labeling Requirements

Fruit and vegetable manufacturers must comply with a variety of food labeling regulations.

Industry size & Structure

The average fruit and vegetable manufacturer operates a single location, employs 109 workers and generates about $50.1 million in annual revenue.

    • The US fruit and vegetable manufacturing industry consists of about 1,550 companies that employ 169,000 workers and generate $77.7 billion in annual revenue.
    • About 535 companies produce frozen foods, 725 produce canned products, and 215 produce dried and dehydrated products.
    • Adults in the US consume about 1 cup of fruit and 1.4 cups of vegetables per day. Annual per capita consumption is about 130 pounds for frozen, canned, or dried fruits and 206 pounds for frozen, canned, or dried vegetables.
    • The fruit and vegetable manufacturing industry is concentrated - the top 50 companies account for about 64% of industry revenue.
    • Large US companies include Dole Food Company, Del Monte Corporation, The Schwan Food Company, Campbell Soup Company, JR Simplot, and Kraft Heinz Company.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Fruit & Vegetable Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  May 23, 2024 - Price Increases Easing
                                  • Producer prices for fruit and vegetable manufacturers rose 3.9% in March compared to a year ago, down considerably from the 17.1% increase in the previous annual comparison, according to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Produce prices have been rising sharply since early 2021, driven by supply-chain disruptions and high demand and, more recently, drought and extreme heat that have damped production of fruits and vegetables. Employment by the industry shrank by 5.5% in March year over year, while average industry wages ticked up 1.1% over the same period to $21.89 in March, per BLS wage data.
                                  • Fewer farmers are farming fewer acres but producing more each year, according to the USDA’s 2022 Census of Agriculture (CoA), released in February. Between 2017 and 2022, the number of farms in the US declined by 141,733 or 7%, while the number of acres operated by farm operations declined by 20.1 million (2.2%) over the same period, a loss equivalent to an area about the size of Maine. While the number of farm operations and acres operated fell, the value of agricultural production rose from $389 billion in 2017 to $533 billion in 2022 (40% nominally and 17% adjusted for inflation), per the CoA. In 2022, 11,828 farms harvested nearly 1.7 million acres of vegetables for processing, while 74,438 farms produced fruits (noncitrus) on some 2.14 million acres.
                                  • Frozen foods generated nearly $77.6 billion in sales in 2023, and volume sales were up 5% compared to 2019, according to Conagra Brands’ Future of Frozen Foods 2024 report. US consumers eat frozen food products an average of four times a week, with frozen vegetables among the top frozen food items Americans have on hand, according to market research firm Circana’s National Eating Trends data. Consumers in rural areas purchase frozen foods more frequently, and nearly half of US households own secondary freezers. Prepared foods accounted for the largest percentage of sales (32.7%) by category, with frozen vegetables and fruit accounting for 4.6% and 2.4%, respectively, per data collected by NielsenIQ for the 52 weeks ending December 2, 2023.
                                  • Estimates from the US Department of Agriculture forecast a better citrus crop this season (2023-2024) than last. That’s welcome news for an industry that has struggled with Citrus Greening disease and natural disasters (hurricanes and freezes) that have crippled citrus crops in recent years. January estimates show the citrus industry on pace to fill 20.5 million 90-pound boxes of oranges, up from 15.8 million boxes during the 2022-2023 season but down sharply from 41.2 million boxes during the 2021-2022 season. Another 2.4 million boxes are expected to be filled with grapefruit, and 550,000 boxes with specialty fruits. Growers filled 1.81 million boxes of grapefruit during the 2022-2023 season and 3.33 million boxes during the 2021-2022 season. Before the arrival of Citrus Greening, the industry had filled more than 200 million boxes or oranges a season and 50 million boxes of grapefruit.
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