It has been a turbulent year for fresh foods. A massive spike in the price of animal feed has inflated input costs for egg, dairy and meat producers, and a worldwide drought has pressured wheat yields and boosted U.S. exports of the crop. A poor harvest, combined with low inventories, has forced citrus prices higher. As a result, dollar sales gains in many major perishables categories were inflationary this year.
Yet smaller categories that offer shoppers convenience or promise health