Playing into natural, organic, health and sustainability trends, fruit and vegetable applications are experiencing somewhat of a resurgence across a wealth of food & beverages (F&B) categories. Simultaneously, the demand for natural flavors and colors is driving new product development (NPD) in fruit and vegetable, which are associated with boosting immunity, a hot topic propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.
“Fruit and vegetables are a key contributor to healthy nutrition, which is crucial for the overall healthy lifestyle many consumers aim for. The demand for healthy foods has been increasing for several years already, but got another boost because of COVID-19”, explains Markus Wagner, global director for portfolio development, marketing, and innovation at Agrana an Austrian agrifood company. “The increased health awareness leads to fruits and vegetables overall being in demand, not just specific ones. The popularity of certain types varies between different geographic regions, however especially fruits and vegetables associated with consumers with immunity are gaining traction,” Wagner continues. Often these are referred to as “superfruits” or “superfoods”. Examples include blueberries, citrus fruits like grapefruit or yuzu, acerola, acai or cranberries, to name a few.” In total the region registered 100.600 million of USD in imports of fruits and vegetables with a CAGR 2016-2020 of 5%.
Consumers are looking for holistic solutions that support them in changing their lifestyle and therefore increasing their fruit and vegetable intake. As good sources of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, and beneficial phytochemicals, fruit and vegetables offer diverse formulation solutions. “This opens manifold opportunities for fruit and vegetable applications as they (consumers) do not only eat the fruits and vegetables plain but also want them to be included in ready products,” Wagner says.
Source: Food Ingredients First Date: 06-30-2021
Effects on Costa Rica exports
Costa Rica is well known internationally as agricultural products provider, currently the country is the 1st pineapple exporter in the world, 3rd in banana and 4th in cassava. Costa Rican agricultural production stands out in international markets for its flavor and color, but also its certified quality and excellent production processes. From roots (as cassava) to exotic fruits (as dragon fruit or papaya), all this experience gained as exporter has opened the doors to explore more sustainable and environmentally friendly crops with high nutritional and antioxidant properties.
Just in the first semester of 2021, the country exported USD 1.631 million in agricultural products to 93 destinations, in which Europe represented 48% of our exports in a wide variety of products including bananas, pineapple, coffee, watermelon and melon.
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Based on thisCommercial Alerts, at which level will you recommend it to other exporter?
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