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Record shipments for California grapes

The month of August has seen record shipments for grapes from California, posting week-ending totals of over 4 million boxes three weeks in a row.

“The crop is moving at what could be a record-setting pace,” Kathleen Nave, president of the commission, said in a press release. According to USDA data, more than 28 million boxes of California table grapes have been shipped through Aug. 23. The 2013 year-to-date total is 3 percent ahead of last year, which saw a record-high season total volume that surpassed the 100 million 19-pound box equivalent mark for the first time in history.

Earlier this year a study conducted by The NPD Group found that fresh fruit is the top snack food and the fastest-growing snack food in America. The fruit category is continuing to grow in the United States. Figures for the 52-week period ending in the middle of July 2013 showed a gain of fruit sales and volume over last year, according to data from FreshLook Marketing.

“Shoppers are becoming more health conscious about the food they buy for themselves and their families,” said Nave. “As one of the top-selling fruit categories, grapes are a good fit for today’s shopper.”

Grapes from California are available around the world, with more than 40 percent of the crop exported. The 2013 season started in May 2013 and will continue through January 2014. More than 60 percent of the crop is shipped after Aug. 31.