Fresh Food: Quarterly Statement Q1 2021

March 2021

This briefing provides updates on Euromonitor’s March 2021 forecast restatement for the Fresh Food industry, deciphering how it is navigating the impact of the pandemic, changes from baseline projections and highlighting future risks and opportunities.

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Key Findings

Healthy living drives growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced consumer desire for healthy living and boosting health “from the inside out”, as the realisation spread that poor underlying health was a major risk factor for the virus. There is growing consumer awareness that fresh food is a healthier option than processed food, and there have been increases in sales of perceived immunity-boosting products, such as lemons, garlic and ginger.

Shift to online as consumers social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic

The shift to online shopping is continuing. Whilst this is more established in developed markets, online shopping is also growing in developing countries. The bigger retailers have more established online platforms, while smaller independent players are focusing on expanding their online distribution. COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of this channel, as consumers socially distance themselves to avoid getting sick and to comply with government regulations.

Eating occasions shift into the home

As countries implemented lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and foodservice outlets were closed, there was a substantial shift to at-home consumption and cooking at home. Consumers who would previously eat out or grab food on-the-go are now eating at home. This positive impact on fresh food sales is likely to continue, even as vaccines allow restrictions to ease, as the economic impact of the pandemic will mean reduced disposable incomes for many, reducing the ability to eat out.

Growth in fresh food non-meat forms of protein

As the origin of the COVID-19 is reported to be wet markets in Asia, many consumers have become more cautious regarding the origins of their food and its safety. Periods of closure of meat processing plants due to COVID-19 infections disrupted the supply of meat (especially in the US) and prices rose. This provided a boost to alternative proteins in fresh food such as lentils. These benefit from a better health and sustainability profile than meat.


About fresh food quarterly forecast updates

Q1 Fresh Food Update

Key findings
Fresh food considered inelastic as a necessity purchase
A new outlook: Fresh food forecasts remain largely unchanged
Market upgrades/downgrades
India sees the largest absolute revisions
Retail value sales growth shows strong recovery
Vertically farmed produce increasingly available on US shelves
Healthy living to drive forecast sales of fresh food

Q1 Macroeconomic Update

Global baseline outlook: downside risks to the recovery have declined
Uncertainty remains high, but with a more optimistic tilt
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter, AE (%, percentage points)
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter, EMDE (%, percentage points)
Global Risk Index scores and rankings

About our Industry Forecast Model

Euromonitor International and COVID-19: forecasts and analysis
Fresh Food: reporting timeline
About Euromonitor International’s Industry Forecast Model
Soft drivers and the Industry Forecast Model
Growth decomposition explained
Significance and applications for growth decomposition
Key applications for Industry Forecast Models


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