Demand for convenience F&V is exceptionally strong in the UK and the Netherlands, due to strong supermarket dominance and a wide range of ready-to-eat and pre-cut fruit and vegetables, says the CBI*. And interest is growing in other parts of Europe, such as Italy and Spain, where it mostly focuses on fresh cut fruit and veg, though in Germany, demand lags due to concerns over safety, quality and freshness. The CBI says many big retailers are diversifying their offering of snack vegetables, ready-to-eat fruit and fresh-cut products, including seedless fruit, easy peelers, products with prolonged shelf life and items like mini papayas and mini watermelons. Growth potential for ready-to-eat and ripened fruit is spurring improvements in ripening processes for fruits such as mango, avocado and papaya as importers strive to deliver the right level of maturity at the right time, it also says.
Brits starting to buy pre-cut fruit again
In the UK, Covid-19 sparked a massive switch to wholehead fruit in 2020 by those buying for in-home consumption. Kantar says the prepared fruit segment has yet to recover all the shoppers it lost in 2020 but the most engaged ones have started to buy more often again, pushing the spend over 2019 levels. Other segments of the broader prepared produce market are recovering faster, however, namely prepared veg, added value veg, leafy salads and prepared salads.
*The Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries