29 June 2021

Switching to green

The fresh fruit appeal for plant-based diets

Health and wellness are at the forefront of consumer consciousness in 2021, leading to an increased focus on natural ingredients and the rise of plant-based diets.

Consumers around the world are growing more conscious of what they put on their plate, with many choosing to eliminate or cut down on animal products. The US plant-based retail market grew 27% over last year, while UK growth has risen even more quickly in recent years.

According to a GlobalData survey, over the past year, plant-based products have accelerated exponentially: 41% of European consumers consider a reduced environmental footprint to be more important now than before the pandemic. Likewise, 42%* of European consumers said the COVID-19 pandemic has made ethical or sustainable production methods more important to them.

Activist Greta Thunberg focused on food too in May 2021, calling on her Instagram followers to adopt plant-based diets.

“Brands and innovators are taking plant-based into new categories, expanding ranges and trialling new plant ingredients”

(WGSN – Sustainability Bulletin: June 2021)

Alongside issues raised by the pandemic about health, environmental concerns are growing, as a shift towards plant-based diets has unleashed a wave of plant-based and creative product innovation and the success of meat and dairy substitutes has proven consumers’ willingness to embrace tech-led food innovation.

But the wave of plant-based, synthetic, and processed meat-free alternatives won’t succeed with savvy consumers in the long term, if they’re worse for the environment than sustainably produced ‘traditional’ foods.

“While food leads the way, there is also a raft of innovation across other sectors that will see this space continue to grow and evolve”

(Kara Nielsen, Director, Food & Drink, WGSN)

The fresh fruit world has therefore become richer, more diverse, and more globally expansive in recent years, enticing consumers with new sensations and eating experiences.

With customers asking for nourishing and immune-boosting solutions, the fresh fruit landscape can engage those more interested in fruit than ever. Perfected fruit varieties, more tropical fruits, new fruit shopping options, sustainable fruit packaging and new ways to enjoy fresh fruit are changing how we buy and eat fruit.

Global consumers have turned – or returned – to fresh fruit for health and nutrition for immunity boosting and for discovery and sensory adventure. More fruit varieties and eating experiences have greeted them, along with new ways of shopping for a wide variety of fresh fruit. Highlighting the value proposition of fresh foods by consistently communicating the benefits of healthy eating can positively affect the consumer’s attitudes and may further result in increased consumer spending on fresh foods.

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