Vegetables struggled for volume growth throughout the review period, mainly due to a social and demographic shift. With a growing number of small and single-person households coupled with increasingly busy lifestyles prior to the pandemic, there was an ever-growing demand for convenience, especially amongst younger generations in Japan.
While demand for fresh vegetables had mainly been on the wane because they take longer to prepare, which had been cited as the main reason for the longer-term decrease in vegetables consumption in Japan, this changed somewhat in 2020 during the height of the pandemic when people stayed at home, with many also being encouraged to work from home. As a result, consumers had more time to prepare and cook fresh vegetables.
Changes in consumer attitudes and adaptation to the “new normal”, especially in terms of visits to foodservice, combined with growing efforts among retailers and producers of fresh food to venture into e-commerce should help category sales to recover in 2021 and 2022. The reopening of foodservice and institutional channels is set to lead to a spike in sales of vegetables via these channels in 2021, as consumers will resume some of their pre-pandemic habits, providing they feel it is safe to start dining out again.
Consumer awareness around improving the immune system through increasing their intake of vegetables is expected to rise following the pandemic. Moreover, longer-term shifts towards working from home are likely, which could provide consumers with more time to prepare and cook fresh produce on a regular basis.
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This report originates from Passport, our Vegetables research and analysis database.
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