This report highlights global trends impacting fresh food, with a focus on home country consumption and factors influencing this. It details threats to the consumption of home country produce, as well as areas of opportunities for businesses to address the changing retail environment over the forecast period.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a global recession, forcing countries to focus on their own economies in order to stimulate growth. Consuming local fresh produce helps provide employment opportunities and has the potential to boost income for local agriculture and small-scale commercial farmers.
In times of uncertainty and the stress of busy lives, consumers seek the comfort of the familiar. Food that reminds them of home is seeing increased popularity. Consumers are also turning back to locally sourced food and native ingredients as a source of identity. This includes indigenous inputs, home-grown food and country of origin claims.
There is a growing focus on sustainability, whereby consumers choose fresh produce based on the lower environmental impact in an attempt to “save the planet”. Imported produce has higher food miles, which is a good benchmark from which to calculate carbon footprint and environmental impact, resulting in a shift to local.
There is a growing desire amongst consumers to know and trust where their food comes from. The current pandemic and its origin, which is thought to be Asian wet markets, has reinforced consumers’ desire for “safe” food. Because different countries have different policies and ideas of what is considered safe, local produce is preferred and perceived as “safer” in many countries.
The availability of fresh produce is heavily reliant on an efficient supply chain. Closed borders, import/export delays, inclement weather and local unrest are all issues that impact fresh produce availability, and result in an increased reliance on local produce as consumers and retailers look for ways to keep shelves stocked.
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