Quality Insights

Convenience Food Market Update

13 December 2018
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Convenience Food Market Update

01 January 2017

As we've reported before, retailers are having to continually adapt the fresh and prepared produce they stock in order to fit the customer's needs. One of the top trends recently has been the increased demand for convenience foods currently available in the fresh produce section of supermarkets.

These haven't changed much throughout the year and we're still seeing similar trends of vegetables replacing carbohydrates, quick prepared roast vegetables, pre-prepared fruit and snack pots.

People are increasingly busy but they are also increasingly aware of eating healthily. To cater to this market, retailers have been stocking a greater variety of pre-prepared vegetables cut and packed to look like common carbohydrate products such as chips, pasta and rice. Butternut squash and sweet potato are popular alternatives for this section.

Supermarkets are also still addressing the time needed to prep vegetables by supplying packs of pre-prepared vegetables that give the variety of veg and ease of cooking it. This provides a healthy accompaniment for any meal, especially for people with less time on their hands. Providing a quick and easy meal that is nutritious and different for guests or easy to prepare for people eating alone.

The supermarkets are also still packed with pre-prepared pots and bags of fruit which continue to be popular snacks. Demand has been created for different sizes and placements of this product. As the selection of fruit available in this market continues to increase, so does the variety of size options, including; larger resealable bags, lunch tubs and smaller breakfast pots. Searching for 'prepared fruit' on most supermarket websites will give you a whole page of options for fruit that is cleaned, peeled and chopped ready for consumption. Common fruits are; melon, pineapple, mango, grapes, apple and berries. However, we are starting to see different options being added with fruits like pear, redlove apple, coconut and a broader range of berries.

Supermarkets are not just catering for the lunchtime rush, however, they are also increasingly providing packaged options for breakfast. These can be bought on the way to work or during the day for the following day when there is a busy schedule ahead. These packaged foods, many of which contain some form of fruit or healthy element are found near the packaged lunch options, but in their own section marked 'Breakfast'. Fruit pots are very popular but other options include: fruit compote with muesli or yoghurt or sealed cups of fruit jelly.

Snack pots have continued to remain popular as well. These little tubs of goodness are increasingly appearing in supermarkets and in coffee shops that sell prepared foods for lunch or breakfast. Often labeled as 'protein pots', and in some supermarkets in their own 'High Protein' section they contain around 100-150g of fresh produce that is tailored for a quick and healthy snacking option. Common ingredients are; egg, avocado, salmon, chicken, edamame, feta and spinach. They are attractive options for lunch or snacking and come at a cheaper price than a full packaged salad. Other options now available for snacking are packs of prepared fruit or vegetables with an accompanying dip displayed in two attached sections of packaging. These contain classic mixes of items like carrot sticks & houmous, apple slices & dip, chicken, prawns or calamari with a variety of dips or sauces.

Supermarkets are increasingly facing competition to provide the best selection and quality of the prepared foods. Repeat business is easy to achieve when a retailer provides high quality prepared food and continues to move with the trends and introduce new options to this market.

With the recent increase in people choosing a vegan based diet, a lot of these products play well into this market, which doesn't hurt their sales potential.

To create trust and keep it, a retailer needs to achieve consistency. At Innovative Fresh we work closely with retailers and suppliers across Europe, offering a unique service. We quality test fresh produce, prepared produce and flowers, but we do it from a consumer's perspective. This ensures that your customers consistently get the best in fresh. We offer detailed reports, analysis and competitor monitoring to help you only stock the best there is in fresh foods and flowers.

For more information on how we can help you achieve this contact us on info@innovativefresh.com.

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