At a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 7.5%, the global fruit and vegetable processing market is set to reach $530 billion by 2028. A subset of food processing, fruit and vegetable processing results in food ingredients as well as food for immediate consumption. Some of the more common products are pulp, juice, canned vegetables, or fruit pieces.
Once a niche industry, fruit and vegetable processing has been an ever-expanding market thanks in large part to the demand for processed food, trends in eating, as well as greater disposable income. Covid only intensified the desire for greater safety and quality as it relates to food consumption with manufacturers compelled to enhance the value of their products in markets around the globe.
The fruit and vegetable processing market is commonly divided into one of four types of products: canned, dehydrated and dried, frozen, and others. The processing technology is typically pulsed electric field, high-pressure, or microwave. Equipment varies by country and the key market players are Kraft Heinz Company, Syntegon Technology GmbH, Del Monte Foods, GFA Group, Greencore Group, and JBT Corporation among others.
While the fruit and vegetable processing market outlook is rosy, some factors could stifle growth. Food recalls are front and center. In most countries recalls occur when criticism (or worse, an actual poisoning) is levied and the manufacturer, wholesaler, and/or government chooses to remove the product as it may pose a safety risk to consumers. While the recall might be presumptuous in nature, most manufacturers prefer to get ahead of such claims so as not to sully the company’s brand.
Another challenge inherent to the fruit and vegetable processing market is infections and physiological deterioration. This is an ongoing challenge, no matter the economic conditions. Low atmospheric humidity, physical injury, and high temperatures are the leading causes of deterioration. Firms invest and divert considerable sums to mitigate these threats.
At a regional level, Asia Pacific is expected to record the highest revenue growth rate. India, Japan, and China most notably are spending more resources on fruit and vegetable production (as opposed to grain) for agricultural development. Meanwhile, North America will benefit from rising demand from its own residents as well as Canada and Mexico. In terms of all markets outside of Asia Pacific, North America is poised to account for robust revenue growth. Europe, on the other hand, will expand less rapidly but is still expected to post stable growth.