Ten big shifts in the UK fresh produce market

Ten big shifts in the UK fresh produce market


By an Innovative Fresh spokesperson

This article originally appeared on the Innovative Fresh website and has been republished with permission. 

From a new-look ready meal, to exotic fruits, to fashionable foodies and the newly available Squaffles and Snowbergines, the UK fresh produce market is experiencing some huge changes.

We have been looking at the latest trends in fresh produce by analysing consumer activity. We’ve produced a short report to give you a clearer picture of what is happening in the UK supermarkets this year.

The simple days of supply and demand affecting the market seem a distant memory as the array of factors that now influence the sales of fresh produce continue to grow. Healthy eating trends, social media images, ‘big data’, multi-channel shopping and transparent supply chains are just some of the areas currently having an impact on the fresh produce market.

Growers and suppliers are working incredibly hard to improve environmental factors, health implications and to constantly innovate in many areas. Fortunately, despite the weakening of the pound resulting in price increases, the UK continues to be a successful market for fruit, vegetables and flowers.

We’ve written out a brief overview of the ten shifts, however, for the full colourful report, please click on this link to download.

1. First up we are noticing a shift in the definition of the famous ‘ready meal’. Consumers wanting to cook from scratch but needing convenience are flocking to buy packs of pre-prepared raw ingredients.

2. Secondly, there has been a surge in new ways of reinventing the vegetable. Courgetti, Boodles, Squaffles and Cauliflower Rice are just some of the exciting new names appearing on the market.

3. ‘Exotic Fruit’ is currently a trending search on Google with dragon fruit, papaya and passionfruit topping the queries. Snowbergines have also made an appearance. Extreme and beautiful food combinations are being sought after and fuelled by social media seeking visually attractive images.

4. We’ve also identified that the definition of ‘value’ has changed and is no longer about price. Balancing price with quality and convenience constitutes ‘value’ for the UK market now. Everybody wants to be the ‘best in fresh’ and the quality of this area can define a whole store.

5. Customers are now demanding truth when it comes to the supply chains. Transparency is key and many stores are introducing subtle measures to show consumers where produce comes from. For examples of these see our full report.

6. The Fashionable Foodies market has revolutionised consumer behaviour. Social media is enabling food lovers to influence consumer trends and sales figures as never seen before. From avocados on toast to a trend for radishes, foodies can now take a piece of research and develop a movement.

7. We’re also seeing a rise in independent retailers. Focusing on experiential retail with beautiful environments they are aligning themselves with strong ethical values to create businesses that people want to support and connect with.

8. Big Data is still around and enabling retailers to personalise the shopping experience for consumers with increasing accuracy. ‘Shazam for food’ allows consumers to point a camera at anything and Pinterest will suggest ideas for it.

9. The ‘blended shopping’ experience is now a part of many consumers lives. Using online, click & collect, physical stores, social media, coupons and loyalty cards are just a few of the many options consumers are using – all in the same week. Check out our full report to see what this means for retailers.

10. Environmental concerns mean that many retailers and suppliers are now having to consider how they package their items. This is a double-edged sword for produce as packing can extend shelf life but excessive use of plastics is a problem.

For more information on all ten shifts and how you can cater to these growing demands, click here to read the full report.

Innovative Fresh salad 2

Research is showing that in the UK ‘trust’ is now the second most important reason for choosing a retailer, after price. This can take years to build and only one bad social media post to destroy. It comes in many forms and in uncertain times consumers rely on retailers they trust more than ever before. It is essential for retailers to create this trust and it starts with consistency.

It is our mission to work with all retailers and suppliers on an independent basis to ensure that customers always get the best produce.

A full Innovative Fresh report in any area seeks to identify and facilitate opportunities for brands and retailers. We base this on cultural trends, consumer preferences and behaviour, produce innovations, supermarket trends and sales patterns. For more information please visit our About page.

Click here to be in contact with Innovative Fresh.



The Latest from PBUK

Subscribe to PBUK!

Get regular produce industry insights, sign up for our email newsletter below.