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Positive trends of blueberry consumption in Russia

Positive trends of blueberry consumption in Russia © Eurofresh Distribution
© Eurofresh Distribution


Blueberry consumption in Russia have been grown both in volume and in value. By 2020, it has increased by 82.8% since 2017 in terms of volume and has doubled in terms of value. The principal reasons are the expending healthy style life trend, the awareness of Russian consumers of the vigorous qualities of blueberry; the intensification of berries transforming industry and the swell of blueberry production globally and in Russia in particularly.  Thus, there are some government programs supporting the farmers producing berries; new varieties with better marketing value are being selected, new storage technologies are being implemented, and blueberry becomes accessible. 


Source: Research Store
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Green trends in Russia

Green trends in Russia © LavkaLavka
© LavkaLavka


Ecologically friendly trends have become common for consumers of different countries; and although there is no business motivation initiated by government, Russian food retail business is beginning to move this way. Top managers of some Russian retail brand have been enthusiastically implementing new ideas of sustainability, considering that being “green” improves the company’s image and serves as an extra driver for the consumers.

For example, Magnit retailer installed special equipment in-store for collecting used packing. Auchan Russia hypermarkets encourage customers to weigh fruit in special reusable bags. Many retailers display non-packed fruit and vegetables in special areas for better visibility.

Besides, there are small retailers offering goods grown by local farmers; their production is being examined and confirmed by ecologic inspection. Some of them combine different formats. Such is the case of LavkaLavka, an online store with its own café and shop. The policy of this company is to sell exceptionally seasonable chemical free products grown by small farmers and controlled by clients which means if the client is not satisfied with the product quality, the shop reimburse him the cost of that product.

The analytics predict the growth of the demand for “green” products. Yet, there is a suspicion that some Russian retailers and producers follow this trend merely as the marketing policy, selling conventional goods as sustainable.

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70% of French bought organics during confinement

70% of French bought organics during confinement © Eurofresh Distribution

© Eurofresh Distribution


More French consumers began buying organic products during the Covid-19 quarantine. In fact, during the lockdown, 7 in 10 consumers bought organics, 8% of whom were new to the world of organics. These are the findings of a study published by the Bio Agency, which also reported that consumption was up overall of organics, especially amongst young people (18 to 24 years old), who consumed 11% more (compared to 6% of all buyers). While most sales of organics were in hypermarkets (57%), direct sales also played a key role, with 22% purchased from farms, local platforms or Amapa (French agroecological consumer groups). These direct sales systems are particularly successful in rural areas, where 37% of inhabitants use these channels. Specialty bio stores and proximity stores account for 26% and 24% of organic sales, respectively. Sales of organic products using car pick-up services at supermarkets are up 17% in this period, while online orders (excluding pick-up services) increased 7%.

The report also notes that the current pandemic has raised awareness of organics among consumers between the ages of 50 and 64, of whom 54% claim to have purchased organic produce to support French producers in this sector. Similarly, the growth of direct sales of organics can be attributed in part to their proximity and environmentally friendly production methods. Almost all of the newly converted organic consumers (90%) plan to continue promoting bio producers, citing among their reasons the fact that these products are better for health (59%), are of better quality (57%), and are more respectful of the environment (56%).

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23% of consumers to increase consumption of sustainably grown vegetable over next 3 years

23% of consumers to increase consumption of sustainably grown vegetable over next 3 years

Consumers worldwide are changing their purchasing habits and the sustainable food revolution appears to have taken off. These are the findings of the Wave X-Remix Culture report, carried out by the IPG Mediabrands Group, which surveyed 56,398 consumers from 81 countries on their consumption habits. The report also predicts that in the next three years, 23% of buyers will increase their consumption of sustainable vegetable products and 13% will increase purchases of non-fresh sustainably produced items. 

The organic market is no longer a niche. Consumers are placing greater value in socio-environmental issues, such as the use of plastics, buying local produce, or greater regulations on industrial processes. The report also highlights that consumers are uncertain of the consequences of GM foods and artificial ingredients, and are concerned about the increase in allergies, intolerances and digestive difficulties. Healthy eating concerns have driven continued growth in sales of sustainable and organic products (+8.4 pp since 2013), while lowering consumption of artificial additives and red meat (-35% in the last year).

The new consumer is looking for brands that identify with their values ​​(61% of respondents said that brands have an important social role). The new consumer is less credulous and more distrustful and critical of the information he or she receives. The new consumer does not believe all of the messages transmitted by brands and companies.

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Romanians spend largest share on food and beverages

Romanians spend largest share on food and beverages, ct. Eurostat


EU consumers spent 12.1% of their total expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages, amounting to over €1.047 billion (or 6.6% of EU GDP), according to Eurostat data. Food and beverages ranks as the third largest category of household expenditure after ‘housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ (24.0%), and ‘transport’ (13.2%). Romania is the country with the highest proportion of household expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages (27.8%), followed by Lithuania (20.9%) and Estonia (19.6%). The lowest proportions were recorded for the United Kingdom (7.8%), Ireland (8.7%), Luxembourg (9.1%) and Austria (9.7%).

Between 2008 and 2018, the share of total household expenditure on food decreased or remained stable in most EU Member States where 2018 data is available. The largest decrease was recorded in Lithuania (from 24.8% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 20.9% in 2018, or a fall of 3.9 percentage points), followed by Poland (-3.4 pp) and Malta (-3.0 pp). In contrast, household expenditure on food increased in 10 EU Member States where 2018 data is available. The largest increase was recorded in Czechia and Slovakia (both +1.4 pp), the Netherlands (+1.0 pp) and Hungary (+0.8 pp).

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China’s new – and healthier – eating trends

As consumption continues to grow in China, consumers are willing to pay more for foods without undesirable ingredients and are actively seeking all natural, organic foods.

As consumption continues to grow in China, consumers are willing to pay more for foods without undesirable ingredients and are actively seeking all natural, organic foods.

That’s a summary of a recent survey by Nielsen which reveals Chinese consumers are increasingly opting for specialised diets addressing their desire to eat organic, low-fat, low-carb foods or the need to eliminate ingredients based on food sensitivities, allergies or personal convictions.

In a press release, Nielsen said that about 70% of the Chinese respondents in its new Global Health and Ingredient-Sentiment Survey said they follow a diet that limits or prohibits consumption of at least some foods or ingredients, which is higher than that of global average (64%). Furthermore, 82% of them said they would pay more for foods without undesirable ingredients, also much higher than the global average (68%).  

However, consumers’ changing needs are not being fully met yet, since only 40% respondents are satisfied with the current healthy food choices.

Be an ally in the pursuit of wellness

Nielsen Greater China president Yan Xuan said this is a significant opportunity for food retailers and manufacturers but they need to “identify high-potential segments and the drivers of engagement for these consumers and, then tailor their messages and products accordingly.”

Generally speaking, Chinese consumers prefer low fat (35%), low carbohydrate (35%), low sodium (35%) and low sugar foods (23%) .

Consumers wish there were more all natural (67%), organic (55%) and genetically modified organisms free foods (52%) on shelves. The most undesired ingredients are artificial ingredients such as artificial flavors (73%), preservations (73%), colors (71%), sweeteners (58%); antibiotics or hormones in animal products (63%); and genetically modified organisms (57%).

Nielsen said most consumers choose not to purchase foods and drinks with certain ingredients because they believe it is harmful to their health. What’s more, consumers also regard some foods as natural medicines. Approximately 73% percent Chinese respondents said they actively make dietary choices to help prevent health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension.

Transparency is also important – 77% of Chinese consumers feel more positively about companies that are transparent about where and how products were made,raised or grown (vs. 73% globally).

“The consumption upgrade that is taking place in China highlights the growing pursuit of wellness. According to our research, health, safety  and wellness have already become the top attributes that impact consumers’ purchase decisions. Price will no longer be as important as quality and healthiness,”” Xuan said.

Image: by Calvin Teo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,



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Trends driving America’s produce category

It’s an exciting time for the produce department, but Nielsen Perishables Group says many staple categories are on the wane while on-trend ones are on the rise.

The recent wave of consumer interest and demand for health and wellness products has been great for the fresh produce business in the United States.

However, winning in produce requires more than just resting on the inherent health aspects of fruit and vegetables, warns the Nielsen Perishables Group.

Director of client services Jennifer Campuzano (pictured) told ED that in the US grocery retail sector, the average produce department dollar sales CAGR from 2011 to 2015 was 3.7%. And what’s more, it’s well-positioned to continue its steady growth, “as a widely purchased department that brings higher overall basket rings than those trips that don’t include produce,” she said.

Produce is the second-largest fresh department behind meat in US supermarkets, and rang in a total of $47 billion in the US in 2015.

But while it’s an exciting time for the produce department, Campuzano emphasised that the steady growth of the department over the past few years is being driven by trendy products – those that have adapted to contemporary consumer demands, such as convenience – while many staple categories are declining.

“Additionally, organics, innovative convenience products and differentiated assortment are becoming more common outside of high-end grocery, even within value retailers.

“And although a shifting retail environment and increasingly choosy consumers can and do present challenges, they also offer exciting new avenues for growth.

“Retailers and suppliers can now embrace a variety of opportunities within the store – think product innovation, merchandising across departments for more holistic consumer solutions etc. – and outside of the store (meal and grocery delivery, partnering with local suppliers) in order to win,” Campuzano said.

Simply relying on the health benefits of produce and trusting consumers to know and understand those benefits is not enough, however, to continue to drive growth within the department, she stressed.

“In fact, traditional staple categories like whole apples and bananas had flat or declining sales in 2015 (down 4.2% and 0.6% compared to the previous year), and products like value-added fruits and vegetables and mandarins, that offer additional benefit for consumers in terms of convenience, bold flavour, and snack-ability, are driving growth.

Organic outpaces conventional in sales growth

Produce is also well-positioned to take advantage of what we call ‘21st century health concerns’, Campuzano said.

“Twentieth century health concerns were all about reducing and removing – reduced/non fat, low sodium and sugar.

Today, 21st century health and wellness concerns are more benefit focused (high protein, grains and natural heart healthy foods) and how the food is sourced. Is it organic? Local? Gmo-free? 21st century health and wellness devotees want to know where their food comes from and what it’s doing for them.

“The perceived benefits of organic produce (free of pesticides, healthier, fresher) fall in line with these “new” 21st century health priorities, and help explain why sales of organic produce grew at nearly four times the rate of conventional produce in 2015,” she said.


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Consumer Trends from edition 142 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine

consumer trends

The above edition of Consumer Trends appeared on page 6 of edition 142 of Eurofresh Distibution magazine. Read more from that edition here.
Consumer Trends is a feature of every edition of Eurofresh Distribution. If you have a new, unique and/or innovative product or service, contact us for possible listing in a future edition.


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Consumer Trends from edition 140 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine

Read about some of the latest new products and services in fresh produce.

This edition of Consumer Trends appeared on page 4 of edition 140 (Nov-Dec 2015) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read that issue online here.

Cooler every year: kohlrabi

Touted as the next ‘it’ veg, kohlrabi is as versatile as it is trendy. Time Magazine describes its texture and flavour as similar to broccoli, but said it is sweeter. Popular in its native Germany, kohlrabi can be cooked, added to soups, eaten raw in salads or as a crunchy snack, and even fermented. This brassica, which comes in white and red varieties, is becoming popular in avant-garde restaurants and now being discovered by consumers in North America and wider Europe. Suppliers will increasingly be using chefs to entice consumers to try this veg, which also has health benefits including being high fibre and in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and low in calories.