Small fruits, but a growing market

A bigger market

Small fruits, but a growing market. The segment continues to show important signs of growth: from 2016 to 2020 consumption went from 5.900 to 9.700 tons (+ 64%) and in the first half of 2021 there was greater growth, with an increase in 40% with respect to the same period of the previous year.
The interest of the retail market is also confirmed by evaluating the growth of imports over the years. In 2020, around 17.400 tons of small fruits entered our country, especially blueberries and raspberries from Spain and Chile, compared to about 13 tons in 2016.

To give an overview of the productive context in terms of dedicated areas and strategic investments, he intervened. as part of Italian Berry Day - held yesterday at Macfrut - Thomas Bosiby CSO Italia. While Marco Pellizzoni , Commercial Director of Consumer Panel & Services of GFK Italia, described an overview of purchasing behavior in the category of berries, explaining that the number of Italian consumer households went from 19 to 20,1 million.

Ongoing expansion

“The update of the estimate of the area to 2021 confirms the trend of ongoing expansion for several years in various Regions. In total, we are talking about just under 2.200 hectares, with a 10% growth in just one year, and just three years ago these areas were less than 1.700 hectares. So the current upward trend is very evident, ”Bosi said.

Among all the species of small fruits, the blueberries - as specified by the exponent of CSO Italia - they are the most widespread and add up to almost 1.400 hectares (+ 9% in 2020); followed by raspberries that have risen to around 400 hectares (+ 12%) and, further away but on the rise, blackberries with just over 200 hectares dedicated. Finally there are the gooseberries with about 180 hectares.

Demand and quality

"To satisfy the consumer demands Italians who require a higher quality product, it is necessary to work in the varietal innovation", He says Andrea Perger, Southeast Europe and UK sales and technical support from Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, specifically illustrating the global blueberry market trends: taste and crunch are differentiating factors for the consumer. Another trend to consider is also the demand for local products that should be paid attention to in order to grow the category.

Thomas drahorad , president of NCX Drahorad, presented a scenario on costs and margins in the soft fruit sector, concluding with a call for collaboration: “With constant prices and with a facilitated programming that improves quality, there is an increase in margins for the entire company. supply chain + 25% annually «.

The selection of the quality remains a central theme, as he recalled Nour Abdrabbo, commercial director of Unitec: “To gain the confidence of the market and increase consumption, it is necessary to aim for a correct selection of caliber, color and quality of individual fruits in 360 degrees. The selection today must rely on technology."

Luigi garavaglia , Ilip R&D manager presented the new packaging solution that allows you to extend the shelf life of berries up to 48 hours longer than an inactive package. Matteo molari , Managing Partner of Molari Berries & Breeding presented a case of raspberry: “It is necessary to make the consumer recognize the variety and buy a product not because of the brand but because of the quality of the product itself”.

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