Trends in Fresh Produce Retailing

Recent years has seen big changes in the buying habits of consumers.

And when it comes to fruit and vegetables, produce retailers need to be aware of these trends and respond to the needs of their customers.

Not only does the retailer's range of produce need to change but also how that produce is displayed.

Sales of fruit and vegetables are on the increase partly prompted by health issues of consumers but also due to the increased interest in gourmet cooking.

Consumers are looking for new and wider varieties of fruit and vegetables. Mini vegetables and baby herbs are increasingly popular for gourmet meals.  Sales of organic produce are increasing every year.

And consumers are looking for fresher produce and many are turning to farm gate and farmers markets


  To find out more about our Fresh Produce Display Solutions scroll down the page: 

Vegetables are the New Culinary Super Star




The popularity of cooking shows like "My Kitchen Rules" and "Master Chef" has moved fruit and vegetables into the culinary forefront.

  • Growers are producing new, colourful varieties of fruits and vegetables and creative chefs are turning them tempting recipes that exploit seasonal abundance.
  • Specific examples of these 'new' vegetables include Kale and Sea Vegetables. Long appreciated in several cultures sea vegetables such as nori, dulse and kelp are appearing more frequently on our menus as consumers appreciate their distinctive flavours and nutritional powers. With its soul food resonance, superfood profile and popularity with health food advocates, leafy green Kale could soon follow the path of baby spinach, rocket and other bagged greens and become a mainstream addition to the weekly shopping list.
  • And vegetables are no longer considered just side dishes. Green breakfast smoothies, meatless entrĂ©es and even deserts made with vegetables have been added to our diets.
  • Many consumers can now recognise several types of heirloom tomatoes which has opened the door for more exotic fruits and vegetables.
  • And this increasing popularity of fruit and vegetables has been further enhanced by Governments promotion of the health benefits of this food group.
  • Supermarkets and other retailers of fresh produce have responded to these trends by refurbishing their produce departments and adding a wide variety of convenience and value added products such as peeled and pre-chopped vegetables, special salad mixes, fresh vegetable mixes for soup recipes and semi-prepared roast vegetable mixes. 

Rare Coloured Carrots


Baby Zucchini with Flowers

The Growth in the demand for Organic Fruit and Vegetables



  • Organic foods used to be a novelty but they are now much more mainstream. Recent international surveys have shown that the organic industry grew by 9.5% overall in 2011. This trend will continue in 2012 and beyond.
  • Similar surveys in Australia have shown that two thirds of Australian adults buy organic produce. And this survey also showed that the organic market is growing, even at times when consumer's budgets are tight.
  • Most consumers are occasional buyers of organic products but 12% are regulars. For most retailers 12% is a significant number.
  • Organic produce is here to stay. Surveys have shown that once consumers convert to organic produce they rarely go back to buying conventional produce.
  • Most consumers believe organic produce tastes better, is healthier and more ethical and kinder to the environment.
  • Consumers are increasingly discerning when they shop. They make decisions based on their values and awareness about health and environment concerns. It matters to consumers whether foods are genetically engineered or produced using practices that are good for their families. 
  • Consumers are not the only ones that have changed. Many farmers have switched because they consider it is healthier for them and their land not having to use chemicals.
  • Yields of organic produce is still lower than with conventional farming but production and distribution has improved to the extent that organic food is not that much more expensive.
  • With the increasing number of outlets for organic produce, consumers now have many choices for where to shop.
  • Traditional retailers of fruit and vegetables need to be part of this trend towards organic produce. However they need to recognise that storing and displaying organic produce requires different techniques in order that organic produce is displayed to its best advantage.
  • Organic produce is produced without the use of sprays and other additives. As a result shelf life can be shorter. Displays of organic produce should appear full and overflowing, but without the use of excess stock. Tiered and ramped display units can help to achieve this result.
  • Excessive handling of organioc produce should be minimised and the correct tub. bin and display unit used at all times.

Competition from Farmgate and Farmers Markets



Farmers markets are more and more popular across Australia.

  • Traditional supermarkets and retailers of fruit and vegetables need to compete by presenting their product in ways that say "market fresh"
  • Displays and display containers should set the ambience for the produce department and be used to create the image of farm fresh produce.
  • These containers should be the correct size for the produce that is to be displayed in them. Over-large display containers can lead to damage of the produce when they are filled. Select the correct siz containers and keep the containers full and overflowing by restocking them regularly
  • Where possible, remove fruits and vegetables from their original packaging

Please Note


The information contained on this page is provided for the general interest of our customers. We are not expert geographers fully conversant in the trends affecting produce retailers.

Customers requiring more detailed or clarification of the information contained in this page should conduct their own research. It is beyond the scope of this web site to enter into discussions on these trends.