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Americas: Drivers behind more green intake among consumers

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US consumers’ consumption of fresh produce grew steadily at about 1.3% between 2011 and 2016, according to a Packaged Facts report.

“Fruit and vegetable producers benefited from steady growth among the US population, as well as from the fact that all age groups have high usage rates, especially Gen X adults,” says David Sprinkle, research director.

“Increases in disposable personal income will support purchases of premium fruits and vegetables, including non-GMO, organic, and locally grown types.”

“Also, marketing strategies focusing on health and the delicious taste of fresh produce will help fruits and vegetables to expand their appeal and per capita consumption.”

Packaged Facts reveals the following trends that will influence future growth in the US market for fresh fruits and vegetables.

– Online shopping: Online grocery shopping appeals to millennials and families with small children on convenience, allowing them to receive produce and other foods without needing to browse store shelves.

– Meal kit delivery: This provides all the ingredients needed to prepare a meal in the correct portions.

Meal kits appeal mostly to Millennials and Generation X, especially among single people and men with portion sizes lead and less food waste for singles.

– Farmers’ markets: Community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) taken off throughout the country as consumers seek to eat healthy, locally grown produce and to support local commerce.

CSAs involve community members pledging support to a local farm by promising to cover the costs of farming operations, and in effect, becoming a stakeholder of the farm.

In return, CSA members receive fresh produce from the farm throughout the growing season.

– Diet and superfood claims: Trendy diets such as the paleo diet and the raw food diet emphasize the healthy benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables while appealing mostly to young people.

Baby Boomers are a key demographic for fresh produce purchases.

– Exotic flavors: Ongoing multicultural changes in the US led to tremendous growth in the market for spicy foods over the past half decade.

As adventurous Millennials sought out new flavors, hot peppers became incredibly popular.

Less spicy chili peppers such as jalapeƱos gained more mainstream appeal as an increasing Hispanic population and growing interest in Mexican and South American cuisine took off, especially among Millennials.

– Flexitarian movement: While vegans and vegetarians already eat a large amount of fruits and vegetables, flexitarians who can be persuaded to eat more vegetarian meals or less meat overall will likely increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to get the nutrients that would be present in a serving of meat.