The trends that mark the world's fruit growing

The growing role of China as a producer and importer, the rise of frozen fruits and the appetite for organic are some of the most relevant changes detected by an international report by Rabobank focused on the last decade, where world production grows 25% and Chile stands out as one of the main exporters, with great potential in superfoods.

China imposes its stamp on the world fruit market

Most of the increase in fruit exports - which have grown at an annual rate of 7% during the last decade - has been absorbed by the main import markets: the United States, China and Germany. But in relative terms, emerging markets such as China and India are becoming the most relevant for the global fruit market. China is the world's leading producer, but at the same time it has rapidly expanded its imports and exports of fresh and processed fruits.

Different factors are driving the growth of international fruit trade, both globally and in China, in particular: improvements in market access, changes in consumer preferences, a more professional business environment in the retail, greater purchasing power and, last but not least, a combination of improvements in logistics and storage facilities and cold chain. Many fruits can withstand long sea trips. For Latin American countries, such as Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil this has especially opened up a world of opportunities.

Fresh and frozen fruit gain ground

It is estimated that the 80% of all the fruits produced in the world are sold fresh. The fresh fruit market continues to grow, mainly outside the United States and the European Union. In mature markets, consumer preferences seem to be moving towards fruits that are produced more naturally and with a fresh image, including frozen fruit. And that is at the expense of more stable products, such as juices and canned fruits. During the last decade, global demand for frozen fruit has increased at 5% annual rates. The popularity of berries, one of the main frozen fruits, is definitely one of the reasons that has driven this trend. At the same time, demand for processed fruit - in cans, bags and bottles - has remained stable globally and has fallen around 1% per year in markets such as Europe, Australia and the United States.

Organic products are more than a luxury product

Organic fruit is another winning category with changes in consumer preferences. Organic foods are gaining market share throughout the world. Generally, the market share of organic fruit is higher in richer countries, compared to developing economies. However, income is not the only determinant to buy organic products, since the proportion of purchases of organic products within the total purchases varies greatly in each country, from an 2% in Australia to an 5% in the Netherlands, up to one 9% in the United States and one 15% in Sweden. The reasons behind these variations have to do with factors such as the decisions made by supermarkets with this category, the prices and quality of conventional fruits and vegetables, as well as with cultural elements. In any case, organic products fill a specific space in the market of consumers who make conscious food purchasing decisions, independent of the evidence.

Superfoods drive international trade

Social media appears to play an increasingly important role in fruit consumption trends. In particular, in the case of so-called "superfoods", which are perceived as extra healthy foods, they are on the rise. In order to have blueberries, avocados and other popular types of fruits available year-round, most countries in the world have to import them, at least for some months of the year. As a result, trade in these products has increased continuously.

Source: Revista del Campo

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