The retail value of the Irish prepared fruit and vegetable sector has increased by 10% year-on-year to €90m, according to Bord Bia.

Market research carried out by Kantar on behalf of Bord Bia for the year ending March 2015 shows that the majority of fresh produce sales are in the non prepared format.

However, the prepared fruit and vegetable category has been a growing segment of the market in recent years.

Mike Neary, of the Horticulture Department at Bord Bia, said that the trend of consumers seeking products in a more prepared and convenient formats is one of the key factors contributing to the growth of this sector.

In addition, the sector has seen significant innovation, with a greater range and variety of products available, which has encouraged more shoppers into the category, he said.

Neary said that the category includes fruit salads, chilled salads, mixed tray salads, leafy salads and vegetable products.

The overall volume of product sold saw a 12% increase over the period, which was driven in particular by an increased frequency of purchase of over 7% (to 25 trips per year), Neary said.

Most notably, household penetration has also increased, which Neary said is evidence of more consumers being attracted into the category.

The retail market for prepared fruit and vegetables is dominated by private label products (80% of the market) with the balance of product sold under branded label, he said.