The unprecedented situation that unfolded over the course of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic was favourable for sales of processed fruit and vegetables generally. In particular, shelf stable fruit recorded a major acceleration in its growth rate as consumers practising social distancing and home seclusion looked to stock up on non-perishable foodstuffs.
Rising health awareness, which has been heightened by the pandemic, along with improved consumer access to fresh food, with more e-commerce websites being established that are dedicated to fresh produce, has improved consumer access to and desire for these products. These factors will continue to hamper the performance of processed fruit and vegetables, potentially negatively impacting the main pack types in this category.
Since the onset of the pandemic, growth for frozen processed potatoes has been assisted by the pivot of some foodservice players to retail channels. As a result, there has been an increase in the options available in products such as frozen French fries, which has been contributing to the growth being seen in this category.
As the pandemic situation eases in the coming years, people will return to their places of work and will once again start frequenting consumer foodservice outlets on a more regular basis. This will lead to fewer meal occasions at home, and ultimately be detrimental to the growth of shelf stable and frozen processed fruit and vegetables.
As consumers in the Philippines had limited access to store-based retail outlets for much of 2020, e-commerce experienced a major boom, with increases seen in the share of total sales of processed fruit and vegetables accounted for by online shopping. While the background to this major shift in consumer behaviour was a set of external factors connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are not expected to be in effect during the forecast period, many consumers have now discovered the convenience that online shopping offers and this makes it likely that they will continue to shop online for a wide range of groceries, including processed fruit and vegetables, during the forecast period as well.
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