Processed fruit and vegetables have always been big business in the European food industry; this sector of the market is said to be worth EUR 47 billion, or 6.7 % of the overall value of the EU food industry’s output.
Fruit has always taken up the lion’s share of this market – particularly oranges and apples for juicing and tomatoes for ketchup. However, the UK company, Rush, has recently seen a marked increase in demand for processed vegetables - particularly root vegetables.
“We have no official research on why processed root vegetables are becoming so popular, but my guess is that it is down to lifestyle. People are buying more prepared food, but they also want it to appear healthier, hence the increase in orders for Rush to provide sliced and diced carrots, parsnips and red beetroot for salad mixes, coleslaws and roasting trays," explains Tom Ebdon of Rush Group.
Then of course there is the rise of vegetable juices, a recent Mintel report states that 48% of the participants are looking to reduce their sugar levels and are switching to a healthier vegetable drink - many of which contain root vegetables.
Rush Group is currently providing their West European customers with a range of specifications to meet the growing need for root vegetables. "The Group’s wide network of root vegetable farmers across Europe, means that however great the demand, Rush can normally meet all orders, at the right price and right time," says Ebdon.