Fresh options in December are critical to winning the holiday basket and can generate the highest sales of the year, Nielsen Perishables Group Vice President Sherry Frey writes. The week of Christmas boasts fresh-food sales at 8% higher than average, and fresh accounts for 32% of food sales that week. Fresh food that matters most includes beef, bananas, potatoes, onions, chicken and tomatoes, but other categories can't be forgotten, Frey writes. Customers are 2.3 times more likely to buy ham during Christmas week, 1.6 times more likely to purchase nuts and seeds, and 1.4 times more likely to buy breakfast sausage, celery and shrimp.
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