Healthy and Ethical Living Megatrends Boost Fresh Produce Consumption

Healthier products are on the rise. The thriving development of plant-based proteins such as walnuts and chestnuts has contributed to an impressive 4% growth in the volume of global sales of fresh produce in 2017, according to Euromonitor International. On the other hand, categories such as eggs, meat, as well as sugar and sweeteners demonstrated the lowest growth.All categories presented a growth in total sales volume, and the results appear to prove that fresh produce has an advantage over its packaged and processed counterparts regarding health problems. On average, the growth in fresh produce sales was twice as high as that of packaged foods in the same year.

"In 2017, the Ethical Living and Healthy Living trends brought to light a number of food scandals. The most prominent were allegations of corrupt sanitary practices surrounding beef in Brazil as well as the contamination of eggs with Fipronil in the Netherlands. The sharp declines in sales in some food categories tend to only be short-term, but they fuel long-term concerns about particular products, for which reason there is a greater urgency to improve transparency and accountability in the supply chain. The emergence of blockchain technology, which promises a strong certification standard, should influence the fresh food industry”, says Alexander Kottke, a research analyst at Euromonitor International.

Given the intensity of the intersection trends that affect the global fresh produce market, there is ample room for industry makers to seize opportunities for growth. On a broad level, changes in global demographic dynamics, such as the aging population or the increase of one-person households, open up the possibility for growth through forms of convenience such as pre-cut meat or sealed packaging.

“This can also be used to encourage consumers to be more adventurous in the kitchen, which would serve to boost volumes of fresh produce, as these products form the core of such meals. Finally, premium products are a means of converting mature volume consumption from developed markets into higher revenue. Manufacturers and retailers are therefore called upon to look beyond the confines of their markets and think innovatively about these issues in order to meet the growing global demand for higher quality products”, says Kottke.

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