Vanguard releases produce industry trends of 2022
During the first half of 2022, the produce industry has continued to face challenges with the supply chain, covid congestion, increased costs and now, inflation.
These were some of the key trends discussed in a report by Vanguard International called “Seven Produce Industry Trends of 2022.”
Firstly, the produced industry faced supply chain issues which were one of the biggest global challenges ever experienced. It was characterized by delays in transit times doubled, ocean carriers opting out of ports, increasing logistics costs and complexity with growers having to resort to costly, increased freight rates.
In fact, costs across the board have increased 300-400% with no relief anticipated until Q2 of 2023.
Secondly, managing covid congestion in the global supply chain has been an ongoing problem and the crew change crisis remains.
Thirdly, increased agricultural input costs of 30 to 40 percent have been driving higher prices. Certain growers are finding themselves in a “supply exceeds demand” environment for their crops, which is forcing them to suppress their sales prices and absorb greater amounts of the input costs.
In addition, inflation has hit fresh fruit and vegetable prices, driving some consumers to buy frozen or canned options. Packaged produce continues to see consumer preference – 72% preferred packaged produce in 2020, now 82% in 2022.
Moreover, healthy superfoods like avocados, berries, pomegranates, mangoes, sweet potatoes, and papayas are well sought after despite rising cost pressures. Although consumers are more price-sensitive, preferences for “pure, organic, and sustainable” plant-based options continue to grow.
Furthermore, consumers want and expect more engagement so even though functional foods, freshness, and authenticity of local foods appeal, freshness always wins.
Lastly, while restaurants have reopened, they are challenged with high prices on product offerings and a tight labor market. Consumers are now more comfortable with “meals at home” and are eating out less than before the pandemic due to budgetary concerns.
To read the full report, please click here.