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The avocado and mango revolution

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In the past, European avocado and mango producers and distributors were used to harvesting, packing and transporting their fruit as fast as possible in order to achieve a longer trading window. But this changed dramatically with new consumer segments demanding higher quality and more flavour.

The development of new techniques to control postharvest ripening led to the emergence of a new category which has revolutionised the subtropical fruit market, under the ready-to-eat banner. Today, the fruit is pre-ripened to reach the point of sale in optimum conditions for eating, giving it greater added value and longer shelf life.

The companies presented here apply pre-ripening in line with a totally new concept; they have created their own brands that recall what eating ‘freshly picked’ fruit used to taste like. In other words, simply delicious fruit, in its maximum expression of aromas and optimum flavours.

Using powerful marketing tools and applying high technology, these companies are able to produce and commercialise a product which previously was only sold in small local markets.

Under the aegis of a premium quality brand, they achieve end product uniformity at point of sale, greater acceptance from customers and consequently better sale prices. The commercial boom generated by the ready-to-eat segment is unquestionably one of the greatest successes in fresh fruit sector innovation.

Read the rest of this article for free on page 86 of edition 135 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine.



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Why and where the market for fruit and vegetable ingredients is flourishing



The market for fruit and vegetable ingredients is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% and to exceed $180 billion by 2019, according to a report by market research firm MarketsandMarkets.

And while Europe led the market for fruit and vegetable ingredients in 2013 – due to substantial growth in the processed food and beverage sector – the Asia-Pacific region – especially China and India – is expected to be the fastest-growing market for fruit and vegetable ingredients in the next four years. Fruit and vegetable concentrates, in particular, are enjoying increasing demand there in line with growing consumer interest in healthy beverages.

In the report, ‘Fruit and Vegetable Ingredients Market’, author Nayan also predicts growth of the market in Latin America. She said this will be driven by factors such as greater demand for customised fruit and vegetable ingredients due to increasing consumption of processed dairy and ready–to–eat food products.

Fruit and Vegetable Ingredients Market Size, by Region, 2013 ($Billion)

Fruit & Vegetable Ingredients Market

Source: Industry Journals, Company Publications, Related Publications, and MarketsandMarkets Analysis

How fruit and vegetable ingredients are used in the market

The report categorises the fruit and vegetable ingredients market on the basis of the key type of ingredients – concentrates, pastes and purees, NFC (not from concentrate), and pieces and powders.

It also segments them according to the main end applications – beverages, confectionery products, ready-to-eat products, bakery products, soups and sauces, dairy products, and others (including dips, spreads, dressings, toppings, and puddings).

The ready-meals industry is a big user of canned vegetables (mainly for pizzas, pastas, soups and fresh and frozen meals), as is the meal components sector, while baby food companies use a variety of preserved fruit and vegetables.

An application experiencing growth is the use of fruit and vegetable-based ingredients as colouring and flavouring agents in foods and beverages, in response to consumer concern over synthetic ingredients.

Key players analysed in the report

Among leading market players profiled are the Archer Daniels Midland Company (US), Kerry Group plc (Ireland), AGRANA Group (Austria), DohlerGroup (Germany), SunOpta, Inc. (Canada), and SVZ International B.V. (The Netherlands).

Other prominent companies in the market are DIANA S.A.S. (France), Olam International Limited (Singapore), Sensient Technologies Corporation (US), and SensoryEffects Ingredient Solutions (US).

Seasonal shortages, price fluctuations limiting growth

Nayan says government initiatives to promote the fruit and vegetable ingredients industry and increasing trade in these commodities have complemented the overall growth of this industry. “However, strict food safety legislation and seasonal variations affecting the supply of raw materials with fluctuating prices restrain the growth of the market.”

Fruit and Vegetable Ingredients Market Size Trend, 2012–2019 ($Billion)

Fruit & Vegetable Ingredients Market

E – Estimated; P – Projected

Source: Industry Journals, Related Publications, Company Publications, and MarketsandMarkets Analysis

Read more about the ‘Fruit and Vegetable Ingredients Market’ report.

MarketsandMarkets advises that readers can avail of a discount of up to 30% on the off shelf report by using the code FAPRI30 in the “specific interest” section of the contact page of its website.


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.






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Expansion in Ireland’s prepared fruit and vegetable market



Growth in the fruit and vegetable convenience category is highlighted in a recent article from Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.

Horticulture Division Manager Mike Neary writes that Kantar Worldpanel market research values Ireland’s prepared fruit and vegetable sales at €84 million at the retail point.

The growth in the prepared fruit and vegetable category in the retail market in recent years is evidence of the important role that convenience plays in the purchase decisions of households, he said.

According to Kantar, since 2008 the volume of sales in this category has grown 8%. “One of the drivers of this trend is the number of households that are now purchasing from this category, which has reached over 92% of all households. This is a 1.5% increase since 2012. The purchase frequency is 24 times per annum,” Neary said.

Fruit salad products performing the strongest

Private label products dominate the prepared fruit and vegetable category, with a 77% market share. Key lines in this category include vegetables, fruit, leafy salads, mixed tray salads and chilled salads, with the latter accounting for two fifths of the volume sales. However, in the last year it was fruit salad products that performed the strongest.

Neary said the Kantar research also showed people in the ‘pre- family’ stage are more likely to buy mixed tray salads, while retired shoppers are more likely to buy prepared fruit.

Prepared fruit & veg market benefits from convenience trend

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Concern in EU over increase in listeria infections



There’s been a worrying rise in listeria infections in Europe but cases involving campylobacter – the most common bacterial cause of food poisoning – have stabilised and there’ve been less cases of salmonellosis.

They are among the findings in a report released this week by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Listeria: acquired mostly from ready-to-eat food

Speaking about the rise of invasive listeriosis cases reported, ECDC Chief Scientist Mike Catchpole said this was “of great concern as the infection is acquired mostly from ready-to-eat food and may lead to death, particularly among the increasing population of elderly people and patients with weakened immunity in Europe.”

While listeria was seldom detected above the legal safety limit in ready-to-eat foods and the number of confirmed cases in 2013 was relatively low at 1,763, these reported infections were mostly severe, with higher death rates than for other foodborne diseases.

In 2013, a total of 191 deaths due to listeria were reported, 64 in France, and 13 listeria outbreaks1 reported, of which 8 were supported by strong evidence2. In 3 of those cases, crustaceans, shellfish and molluscs, and products thereof, were implicated.

More than 5,000 units of ready-to-eat fruit and vegetables were tested that year – mostly samples taken at retail level – and L. monocytogenes (the bacteria that causes listeria) found in 1.4 % of them.


Salmonella linked to 59 deaths

People infected with salmonella tends to suffer diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps but most recover without treatment. It accounted for 22.5% of total food-borne outbreaks in 2013 and was reported as the cause of 59 deaths (compared to 56 for campylobacteriosis).

The report said salmonella was most frequently detected in poultry meat, and less often in pig or bovine meat.

Of nearly 1,560 units of fruit tested, it was found in only 0.8 % of samples, including in pre-cut, ready-to-eat fruit tested at a processing plant in Greece, and in one sample in the Netherlands.

Of 5,915 samples of vegetables tested, 0.1 % were salmonella-positive. Salmonella was found in one batch of leafy greens imported from another EU member state and in two batches of baby corn of non–EU origin.

Viruses: ‘Fruit, berries and juices’ equal third among foods implicated

Foodborne viruses include calicivirus, hepatitis A virus, flavivirus, rotavirus and other unspecified viruses.

The report said that in 2013, EU member states reported a total of 941 foodborne outbreaks caused by viruses, representing 18.1% of all outbreaks reported in the EU. Of these, less than a tenth (86) were considered of strong evidence, and of them, the majority (76) were caused by calicivirus.

‘Fruit, berries and juices and other products thereof’ and ‘mixed food’ (both 11.6 %) were equal third among most commonly implicated food vehicles, coming after ‘crustaceans, shellfish, molluscs and products thereof’ (40%) and ‘buffet meals’ (14%).


Three Verocytotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) outbreaks linked to vegetables, juices and related products

Vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) are a group of bacteria that cause infectious gastroenteritis.

In 2013, a total of 73 outbreaks caused by VTEC were reported, with 12 supported by strong evidence.

Among the latter, the main food vehicle was bovine meat and products thereof (4 strong evidence outbreaks), followed by ‘vegetables and juices and other products thereof’ (3) and cheese (2).

Yersinia: salad and raw grated carrot have been past infection sources

Bacteria of the yersinia genus cause the infectious disease yersiniosis, which can produce diarrhea and abdominal pain.

In 2013, eight outbreaks were reported in the EU, involving 16 people. There was strong evidence for just one outbreak and the source identified as meat and meat products.

In the period 2007–2012, a total of 104 foodborne yersinia outbreaks were reported by the member states. The food vehicle was identified in only ten outbreaks; in three outbreaks, the source was contaminated vegetables – raw grated carrot (1) and salad (2).


1 A ‘food-borne outbreak’ is defined as “an incidence, observed under given circumstances, of two or more human cases of the same disease and/or infection, or a situation in which the observed number of human cases exceeds the expected number and where the cases are linked, or are probably linked, to the same food source.”

2 Based on the strength of evidence implicating a suspect food vehicle, EFSA categorises outbreaks as either “strong evidence” or “weak evidence” outbreaks.



Read the report “The European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2013”.