Hundreds of new products were presented at the Alimentaria food and drink trade show in Barcelona in April and standing out was the abundance of organic and ‘free’ products – such as free of sugar, salt, fat, lactose, gluten or frying – across all categories. Many of the innovations also responded to the growing demand for organic and functional foods and drinks among consumers, who also want them to be pleasurable and without need for much preparation.
Free-from & organic products abound at Alimentaria Barcelona
EU tackles unfair B2B food trading practices
A draft EU law to help protect farmers from unfair trading practices in the food supply chain was presented by European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan on April 12. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) described the proposal as a landmark, but one that could yet be improved. The Commission proposal would ban the unfair trading practices (UTPs) considered most harmful to farmers. These are payments later than 30 days for perishable food products, last minute order cancellations, unilateral and retroactive contract changes, and making suppliers pay for wasted products.
Wholesale markets of the future
What should the next generation of wholesale markets be like? Ioannis Triantafyllis, member of the board of the World Union of Wholesale Markets, recently set out his vision for the future, one in which markets will still be close to the cities they feed while harnessing the latest in green and cold chain technology. At the Fresh Produce Forum at Fruit Logistica in Berlin in February, his presentation was part of a session titled ‘Wholesale Markets 3.0 - from distribution centre to food hotspot’.
Fresh produce opportunities in Singapore
There is strong demand for fresh products in Singapore, a country where the fresh fruit and vegetables market is estimated to have been worth about $1 billion last year.
“Even busy professionals who cannot make treks to the markets frequently will buy fresh produce and freeze it themselves to consume later. Therefore, significant opportunity exists for firms to sell food items that are both fresh and ready-made or easy to prepare.”
Costco’s arrival as America’s top organic grocer
Costco sees a big future in selling organic produce – if it can source enough of it.
The warehouse giant now ranks number one for organic sales among America's retailers, besting even Whole Foods.
With annual sales already topping $4 billion, it anticipates exceeding $10 billion a year by 2020 thanks to the double-digit growth it expects every year until then. “We cannot get enough organics to stay in business day in and day out,” CEO Craig Jelinek told investors at a Costco shareholder meeting.
America’s revolution in fresh food retail
The growing popularity of meal kit providers is something America’s supermarkets need to keep an eye on. Companies such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron are effectively nabbing sales from retailers in the United States, warns Liz Webber from Supermarket News.
China’s love affair with online shopping and convenience stores
The penetration rate of convenience stores and online shopping in China has jumped to 32% and 38% respectively from last year’s 19% and 35%, according to a Nielsen report.
The global performance management company says in terms of sales and penetration, superstores and supermarkets are losing their market share to convenience stores and online platforms, as more and more people, especially the young, prefer to use these two emerging channels, which are more convenient.
Americans spend $170m more on table grapes
The fresh table grape category was worth $2.7 billion in retail sales in the United States in the 52 weeks to May 28 this year, a figure 6.7% higher – equal to $169.6 million – than that for the same period a year ago.
Nielsen figures also show that the volume of fresh table grapes sold at retail also increased, rising 6.2% to a total of more than 1.21 billion pounds.
Indeed, there was not just growth in the overall grape category but in all subcategories, and in both volume and value.
Trends driving America’s produce category
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.