Consumer spending on fruits shifted overwhelmingly from foodservice sales to retail in 2020, as the Australian authorities decided that foodservice closures would be necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country. During the period of home seclusion and social distancing restrictions in the first half of 2020, retail sales of fruits partially offset the heavy losses felt in fruits as a result of horeca closures.
Internet-based sales were boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as the development of e-commerce options was accelerated by the fear of contamination, the home seclusion of national lockdown, and restricted movements. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers began to purchase more fruits online, arranging for them to be delivered in order to avoid crowded public places such as supermarkets.
Although many categories were affected by the changing demands of COVID-19, producers of strawberries were also affected by poor weather conditions which led them to report low yields in 2020. This meant that the category was unable to record such a strong retail performance in 2020 as many other product areas in fruits, especially as they are more expensive and have a shorter shelf life than other products in fruits which are more convenient.
Improvements to weather and growing conditions, following an increase in rainfall that is expected to continue, will support continued growth for fruits over the course of the forecast period. As such, total volume sales are expected to continue to grow throughout the forecast period.
Stone fruits such as nectarines, apricots and peaches are expected to record slower retail volume growth in 2021 as a result of a lack of manpower available for the 2021 harvest. This shortage is, however, only expected to be a temporary one as the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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This report originates from Passport, our Fruits research and analysis database.
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