Earlier this month, we shared our refreshed Arctic® logo and how the first of our nonbrowning varieties – Arctic® Goldens – will be tested in U.S. stores this year. Well, according to the many articles highlighting hot trends for 2017, our timing couldn’t be better!
While countless food industry trends have been identified, three standouts for 2017 are sustainability, health, and convenience.
Sustainability has been a hot button issue for a while, and this was crystallized in a recent headline from Food Navigator declaring “Nutrition experts predict sustainability ‘most important’ trend for 2017”.
While it may seem surprising to see nutrition professionals select sustainability rather than a direct health attribute as 2017’s #1 trend, research has shown that consumers who value sustainability also often have greater preference for fresh, healthy foods. This is good news for Arctic® apples, as they embody both! Nonbrowning apple varieties can help reduce waste while also helping boost apple consumption, which leads us to the second category – health.
The same Food Navigator article that ranked sustainability as 2017’s top trend also pointed to the rising interest in “fast but healthy food” and the increasing difficulty of distinguishing good nutrition advice from “fake food news and misguided nutrition guidance”. Both of these factors suggest consumers will gravitate towards fresh produce that they know is healthy (apples anyone?).
Many specific trends feed into this idea, such as consumers eschewing added sugars, emphasis on cleaner labels, and more. However, there’s little doubt that consumers’ desire for fresh, healthy produce is increasing; one recent survey found that around half of U.S. consumers eat more fresh products today compared to three years ago.
Fresh slices of Arctic® Goldens, our very first product form, are well-positioned to take advantage of this trend, especially since they distinguish themselves thanks to being preservative free. And, since many consumers are seeking to eat healthier diets, making healthy foods more convenient is clearly a great way to enable consumers’ to follow through on that goal.
While the word “convenience” has long been largely associated with unhealthy food options such as heavily-processed snacks and fast food offerings, it appears the tide is shifting due to consumer demand for fresh, ready-to-eat products.
Retailers are increasingly turning to value-added produce like freshcut fruits to give shoppers the healthy, snackable options they’re after, and as the Supermarket News reports, “retailers keen on appealing to convenience-focused produce shoppers now have hundreds of different options to choose from.” As further evidence, grab-and-go breakfast items were actually identified as the “biggest market gainer in 2016” with healthy options leading this push.
Products that successfully marry both health and convenience, such as fruit-based snacks, have been rising quickly in popularity. Considering there’s no better fruit-based snack than preservative-free fresh fruit like Arctic® apple slices, we look forward to offering consumers exactly what they’re after very soon, and hope you’ll keep an eye out for availability in your region as we ramp up production!