“Technological innovation in food sorting and packaging solutions to contribute to direct consumption of processed fruits & vegetables”
With the rising advancements in international logistics and the high awareness about healthy eating, the consumption of processed fruits & vegetables is expected to grow considerably. This positive growth trajectory is expected to continue over the years due to myriad factors, including the increasing spending on food and beverages and the shifting interest towards ready-to-eat meals.
According to the USDA’s data, U.S. businesses, consumers, and government entities spent $1.77 trillion on food and beverages, away-from-home meals, and snacks in 2019, generating opportunities for processed fruits & vegetables market development. Another contributory factor to the processing of fruits and vegetables is the rapid technological advancements in this sector. For example, machines like Aweta’s 6-line grading machine for stone fruits can significantly process 25 tons of fruits per hour without the need for staff at the selection table, thereby maintaining productivity levels.
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Evolution of vegetable packaging and processing lines
Prominent developers of fruit and vegetable processing lines are placing major emphasis on designing high-capacity solutions for customers to boost business recovery from the COVID-19-induced initial business shutdowns.
A notable example is the planned introduction of the K850 advanced drying systems by Kronen GmbH at the Anuga Foodtec trade fair in 2022. This revolutionary fruits and vegetables processing device was designed to extend the high-capacity processing lines of lettuce and vegetable and ensure continuous processing operation of up to 5.5 tons of products in an hour. According to a Global Market Insights Inc. report, the processed fruits & vegetables industry from the vegetables segment will depict a CAGR of nearly 7% through 2027.
One of the key strategies of the manufacturers of processed vegetables is their significant investment interest in production facilities. Citing an instance, in July 2021, Bonduelle USA, Inc. unveiled plans to invest up to $5 million to boost operations at its Lebanon facility. As a part of the deal, the company was also targeting to purchase new equipment and machinery and add 2 new frozen vegetable packaging and processing lines to increase output from 45 million lbs to 75 million lbs per year by 2023, thereby contributing to processed fruit and vegetable technology innovation.
Rising organic fruit and vegetable production and imports for vegan population
In the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian organic fruit and vegetable farmers encountered labor shortages and other marketing challenges. Despite adverse weather conditions and pandemic-induced disruptions, regional certified organic farmers, however, grew and marketed more produce in 2020. According to Statistics Canada, the total cultivated area of such produce rose by 8.2% to 19,506 hectares in 2020, while the fruit-bearing area was increased by 9.8% to 8,995 hectares.
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Apart from the favorable production scenario, the level of imports of certified organic produce from the U.S. has risen considerably over the past years. Out of the 7.5 million kilograms of imported strawberries, for example, nearly 83.5% came from the U.S., enabling the country to emerge as a lucrative revenue prospect for the processed fruits & vegetables market in North America.
In addition, veganism has grown from obscurity to become a mainstream part of the U.S. diet over the years. As per an online survey conducted by The Conversion, over 10% of Americans aged over 18 years consider themselves vegetarian or vegan as of January 2022. This undeniable increase in both vegan culture and population could serve as a key factor promoting the manufacturing of fruit and vegetable processing devices in the region.
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