During 2019, the Dutch bought 2 percent more fresh fruit and vegetables. This growth is mainly driven by sliced fresh vegetables and fresh packages. Especially the fresh food package, which offers a complete meal solution, has grown enormously in the last year with almost 40 percent growth.
Fresh packages are now bought by one in three households and can be purchased at almost any supermarket. These packages make it easier to eat enough vegetables and contribute to the healthy choice. In addition, consumers are increasingly using a bag of pre-cut fresh vegetables. The cut fresh vegetables category has a share of 43 percent of the total supermarket turnover of fresh vegetables.
Consumers pay for convenience
Despite the VAT increase, Dutch consumers more often added fruit and vegetables to the shopping cart in 2019 than in 2018. In total, the volume of fresh fruit and vegetables purchased increased by two percent. This is evident from consumer data that GroentenFruit Huis has purchased from GfK. Consumers paid an average of four percent more for a kilo of fresh vegetables compared to 2018, while the kilo price of fresh fruit fell by one percent. The fact that the sale of sliced vegetables has increased shows that the consumer is willing to pay for convenience. Factors such as the weather influenced the production and therefore the price. For example, the price of a kilo of apples was clearly lower than in 2018 when, especially in the spring, the supply was small and the prices were high. Apples have a share of twenty percent in the total fruit purchases. The lower price for apples has certainly had an effect on the slightly lower spending on fruit.
Healthy menu choices with fruit and vegetables are gaining ground in Dutch hospitality and catering. For example, companies active in food service bought eleven percent more fresh fruit and vegetables. The strongest growth can be seen in the restaurant and accommodation sector. For example, the purchase of vegetable mixes increased by a quarter in 2019. After this, lettuce / salads, oranges and tomatoes are the most purchased product groups by the hospitality and catering industry. The hospitality industry more often surprises customers with products such as mangoes, avocados, passion fruits and blueberries. Red beets and carrots are also used in more dishes. Chefs are increasingly going for colour and variation on the plate. In this way they respond to the trend towards more vegetables on the menu.
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