02 Aug Fresh sector: all the 2022 trends
The Fresh sector is constantly changing and also in 2022 we are witnessing the emergence of new trends that will dictate its logic and changes. Fruit Logistica, the most important Fresh fair in Europe, has prepared a report entitled “Fresh Future – Ten trends to follow in 2022” which explores the potential impact that the new requirements will have on trade, interviewing a selected group of people in order to trace the most important trends that will shape the sector this year.
In the trend report , respondents were asked to make available their in-depth knowledge of the European fruit and vegetable market, to offer a unique perspective for the benefit of all operators in the sector. Let’s see which are, among those indicated in the fruit Logistica paper, the most important trends.
Needless to say, the pandemic has had a profound impact not only on the industry, but also on people’s lifestyles and habits. Customer demand has changed again, and their needs now require every link in the supply chain to become even more efficient. Companies, therefore, are called to eliminate any unnecessary cost to reduce even “economic waste” and increase investments in innovation.
Chris White, Managing Director of Fruitnet Media International, identifies three areas that require sociological reflection:
- A new retail: shopping is perceived as a task, not as a pleasure. Working to make the experience at retailers enjoyable is paramount for today’s consumers;
- Healthy eating: one of the effects of the pandemic is to have emphasized the essential role that fresh fruits and vegetables have in terms of health. It is therefore appropriate to increase the quality and taste of fresh products, now that consumers are more receptive and sensitive to their importance;
- Technology: an element that has now permeated the entire sector, but consumers still do not fully understand its crucial weight. It is essential not only to continue to invest in technology, but to find the right channels and the right ways to explain to people that this guarantees better and tastier fresh products, raises the level of hygiene and promotes eco-sustainability.
5 of the main fresh trends in the report
Let’s start with what, by all accounts, will be the most influential trend of 2022 in the fruit and vegetable sector. Despite being perceived as important, many operators have not yet started a real process of eco-sustainable transition. Yet that the planet needs all the help it can to prevent its state of health from deteriorating further is there for all to see. “Sustainability will not be negotiable” is one of the most firm comments that have been collected in the report, and the biodiversity that characterizes the various geographical areas needs greater care and protection, immediately.
2) Energy crisis:
The cost of energy is constantly rising and, as a result, inflation is also rising. Consumer prices in the Eurozone rose by 5.1% in January (a record figure), and it is generally believed that it will not be a short-lived crisis. As if that were not enough, the issue of transport also risks weighing down the costs of fruit and vegetable companies, generating in turn more pressure on the players in the sector.
3) Health first:
Health and well-being in general remain at the top of the list of consumers, who are increasingly looking for nutritious foods that contribute to improving their nutrition. As a result of the pandemic, the perceived importance of vegan, vegetarian and plant-based foods has grown. Companies will have to equip themselves to make a contribution to increasing the awareness that fresh produce is among the first foods with a direct impact on health. Closely connected to this is the theme of quality and variety: the consumer, particularly receptive in this historical phase, is ready to open up to novelties, which must still be certified. Health, then, does not exclude taste and fun: for many, food, as well as improving health, is a panacea for morale.
Omnichannel isn’t just a term dear to marketing. It is a philosophy, a business model that considers the customer central and focuses on making the product more accessible and the shopping experience easier. Life is hectic and today’s consumer asks to be able to buy now in a store, tomorrow on a web portal. Large retailers have already begun to extend their range of action from the physical world (store) to the digital one (ecommerce). On the other hand, web-born distribution companies are venturing into physical retail bringing new tech ideas such as chekout-free and dark stores. This is linked to the chapter of delivery, which literally exploded between 2020 and 2022 and is now preparing to consolidate.
5) Technology and digital
Last but not least, technology. It has taken on a capital importance, from seed development, to production, procurement and classification, transport, distribution, retail and marketing: every area sees technology as the protagonist. This is because it has progressed to the point of making the various systems for collecting data in different parts of the supply chain more integrated. But technology must be accompanied by adequate security measures, to avoid risks of malfunctions of the tech infrastructure or, even worse, of cyber attacks.
To consult in more detail the report “Fresh Future – Ten trends to follow in 2022” by Fruit Logistica, click here.