Whether in a smoothie for ‘on the go’, snack tomatoes in a business meeting or an 80/20 meal at a top-class restaurant... Bauke van Lenteren, Manager Convenience at vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan, has noticed that fresh vegetables are becoming an increasingly important ingredient in the growing foodservice market.
Fresh vegetables continue to gain ground in foodservice market
EU expands project to encourage schoolchildren to consumer fresh produce
The European Commission’s project to ensure children have access to fresh fruits and vegetables continues to expand. In 2018/19, the Commission assigned €145.6 million for the scheme. In 2017/18, 20.2 million secondary, primary and pre-school children participated in the programme, which saw over 255 million kilos of fresh fruits and vegetables distributed to schools. Germany had the largest number of participants, followed by Poland, Romania and the UK.
Drop in Belgians’ consumption of fresh vegetables
Belgians are consuming fewer fresh vegetables but slightly more fresh fruit. According to data from the market research agency GfK Belgium, the average Belgian purchased 38 kg of fresh vegetables in 2017 – 1kg less than in 2016. Average vegetable prices were higher, which meant that overall spending on vegetables remained stable. Fruit consumption climbed slightly, from 46.6 to 47 kg per capita. With fresh fruit prices being 4% higher last year, spending on fruit grew by 5%. Consumption of organic vegetables and fruit continued to increase - half of Belgians now buy biofruit.