Your son announces he is now vegan. Your daughter can’t decide whether to eat her avocado for its superfood health benefits or turn it into a face mask. These scenarios are part of trends driving increasing consumer demand for fruit and vegetables in Europe. The EU is a net importer of fruit and vegetables, shipping in produce on a seasonal basis from different parts of the world. This seasonality presents road freight transport companies, able to rent trailers on a short-term basis, with interesting business opportunities.
Growing European fruit and vegetable trade
The total value of European trade in fresh fruit and vegetables is growing slowly but steadily year by year, partly as a result of rising interest in healthy eating, fresh produce and/or organic products . For example, the European import value of fresh fruit and vegetables in 2017 was €56bn in 2017, 5.6% up from €53bn in 2016. (source: CBI)
Another upward trend is the growth of the organic food market in Europe. According to IFOAM EU, the association representing European organic food and farming interests, the European organic food market was valued at €30.7bn in 2016, a rise of 12% from the previous year.
The market for niche, luxury products such as avocados, mangoes and sweet potatoes is growing fast at a rate of between 10% to 20% whereas the market for more standard, big selling products such as oranges and tomatoes has remained relatively static. (source: CBI)
Europeans are still failing to achieve their “five a day” target. The World Health Organisation recommends that everyone eats a minimum of 400g of fresh fruit and vegetables per day. European consumption falls below this average.
Freshfel, the European fruit and vegetable association is collaborating with the European Commission Thematic Network and others to encourage more fruit and vegetable consumption. Freshfel, its French counterpart Aprifel and the EC have created the “FV for a Healthy EU” programme, designed to promote fruit and vegetables to European 18- to 30-year olds, which is the lowest consuming market segment. (source: ProduceBusinessUK)
The “Avocado Effect”
The avocado is an exciting fruit phenomenon. It is incredibly popular, with substantial annual growth in consumption and fits well into enduring trends. Its production moves around the globe on a seasonal basis.
In January 2019, the World Avocado Organisation (“WAO”) predicted that avocado consumption would continue to grow strongly in Europe by at least 15% per year over the next five years. The region ate over 650m kilos of avocados in the previous year. (source: FreshFruitPortal)
An article entitled “Europe: Tomatoes – most popular vegetable – bananas most loved fruit” informs us that 25% of Europeans buy and eat one avocado a week with a higher percentage of French (36%) and Spanish (31%) people buying them. (source: FreshPlaza)
The WAO attributes the success of the avocado to the fact that it hooks into five hot trends:
All around the world - seasonality
Except in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico where avocados grow throughout the year, avocado production shifts around the world with the different seasons. So, for example, the avocado growing season in Spain, Europe’s leading producer, stretches from January to June. Kenya and South Africa produces from January to June whereas Israel enjoys nine months of production from October through to June. (source: Avocadofruitoflife)
Opportunities for fleets
The CBI shares some tips for companies wanting to make the most of the business opportunities offered by the fruit and vegetable market, some of which are relevant to road freight transport fleets with flexible access to trailers. They include: ·
Developing a good niche in the fruit and vegetable market can be highly lucrative as year-round UK melon, pineapple and citrus specialist importer VIDAfresh demonstrates. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange. By March 2019, VIDAfresh had increased its business by 20% year on the previous year and expected its turnover to break through €58m by end of Q4 June 2019. (source: BusinessProduceUK)
TIP trailer flexibility
As a leading provider of trailer rental and leasing in Europe with approximately 70,000 units in our fleet, we make it simple for fleet managers to add trailers to their fleets or subtract them to manage fluctuating levels of business opportunities in a cost-effective way, ideal for handling seasonal ventures in the fruit and vegetable transport markets.
Our short-term rental solutions deliver total flexibility to our customers for an initial term of up to 12 months and always include maintenance services. Our leasing solutions are available with a range of flexible financing options to suit customer needs.
For more information on how TIP can help you with trailer flexibility for seasonal rental, please contact us.
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