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Fresh Produce

Green-Vegetable And Soft-Fruit Sales Rise As UK Embraces Juicing

Data and analytics provider IRI has revealed that sales of green vegetables such as avocados and spinach, as well as soft fruits, are on the rise in UK supermarkets.

Sales of avocados rose by 31 per cent in 2015, worth an extra £34 million to British supermarkets, compared with the previous year. Meanwhile, demand for spinach rose by 21 per cent, and greens by 12 per cent.

Soft-fruit sales also saw an increase of 12 per cent, topping £1 billion in sales last year, and adding an additional £115 million to the British economy.

The IRI figures also suggest that an increasing number of people are buying blenders and juicers from supermarkets, with sales rising by 49 per cent over the past year for the major multiples.

While supermarkets may still account for only a small amount of sales, with many people purchasing their electrical products either online or in specialist stores, this trend does indicate that blenders and juicers are now mainstream.

As fresh fruits and green vegetables benefit from this 'health boom', categories like fizzy drinks, fruit juices and dilute-to-taste products are losing ground. Sales of bottled water, however, rose nearly 10 per cent last year to be worth £670 million.

Martin Wood, head of strategic insight in retail solutions and innovation at IRI, commented, "It’s clear that certain categories are receiving a boost from shoppers’ changing attitudes towards free-from, natural products and food authenticity, and an increased awareness of the health benefits of certain foods and ingredients."

He added that these kinds of figures are expected at the beginning of the year, when people try to adopt healthier eating habits, but it is interesting that we are now seeing growth in green vegetables and fruits throughout the year.

"At a time when obesity rates are at their highest in the UK, it’s encouraging to see this, possibly as a result of pressure on the government to levy a sugar tax on food and drink, and the influence of celebrities like Ella Woodward," he said.

"Based on our data, it’s clear that retailers are already supporting this healthy agenda, but they do need to ensure they maintain it with the right price and promotion, and marketing strategies."

© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Jenny Whelan. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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