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US Vegetables market report

"The vegetables category has experienced stable growth, driven primarily by fresh vegetables and fresh-cut salad. Consumers indicate interest in vegetables that are fresh, nutritious, and natural. Interest also exists for convenient packaging and formats that allow consumers to easily consume vegetables as a snack, meal, or in a recipe. Looking ahead, Mintel predicts the vegetables category will experience steady growth into 2021, heavily driven by fresh produce."
- Michael Averbook, Food & Drink Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Fresh vegetable segments find success while others struggle
  • Vegetable purchase universal, still room for growth 
  • Shelf-stable vegetables lack perception of nutrition, versatility

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Fresh vegetable segments find success while others struggle
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2011-21
          • Vegetable purchase universal, still room for growth
            • Figure 2: Vegetable purchase, March 2017
          • Shelf-stable vegetables lack perception of nutrition, versatility
            • Figure 3: Correspondence analysis – Vegetable types, perception, and uses, March 2017
          • The opportunities
            • Room to extend occasions and uses
              • Figure 4: Vegetable innovation, March 2017
            • Snackable and recipe-friendly vegetable products
              • Figure 5: Vegetable behavior, March 2017
            • Consumers place importance on vegetables free from artificial ingredients, additives, and preservatives
              • Figure 6: Vegetable attributes, March 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Category growth driven by fresh vegetables
                • Vegetable appearances increase on restaurant menus
                  • Vegetable prices remain stable
                    • New administration’s policies could lead to increased vegetable prices
                      • GMO labeling law remains uncertain
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Vegetable sales grow 13% from 2011-16
                          • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2011-21
                          • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of vegetables, at current prices, 2011-21
                          • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of vegetables, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Fresh vegetables and fresh-cut salad drive growth
                          • Figure 10: Sales of vegetables, by segment, 2016
                          • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of vegetables, by segment, at current prices, 2011-21
                        • Supermarkets maintain majority share, but lose some to other channels
                          • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of vegetables, by channel, at current prices, 2014 and 2016
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Vegetables emerge as main offering in restaurant dishes
                          • Figure 13: Vegetable ingredients, preparations, and flavors, by menu incidence change from Q4 2015-16
                        • Consumption of fresh vegetables similar to frozen and canned
                          • Figure 14: Fresh produce – Vegetables, frozen vegetables (excluding potatoes), and canned/jarred vegetables (excluding tomatoes), eaten last 30 days
                      • Market Factors

                        • As food prices decrease, vegetable prices hold steady from 2015-16
                          • Figure 15: Changes in food price indexes, 2015-16
                        • New administration’s trade and immigration policies could impact produce market
                          • Figure 16: Value of US food imports from Mexico, 2015
                        • Keeping off the pounds a struggle for Americans
                          • Figure 17: Prevalence of obesity among US adults aged 20 and over, 1997-2015
                        • GMO issue faces headwinds
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Chiquita leads company sales in a highly fragmented category
                            • Fresh-cut salads deliver continued growth
                              • Frozen/shelf-stable vegetables struggle with health perception
                                • Packaging can extend occasions and use
                                  • Easy vegetable swap ins
                                  • Brand Sales of Vegetables

                                    • Chiquita leads category sales, private label holds over third of share
                                      • Figure 18: MULO sales of vegetables, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                  • What’s Working?

                                    • Ready Pac, Taylor, and Fresh Express excel in fresh-cut salad segment
                                      • Figure 19: MULO sales of fresh-cut salad, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                    • Single-serve, fresh-cut salad gets innovative
                                      • Figure 20: Online video – “Organic Pork Tenderloin salad recipe with Chadwick Boyd” – Fresh Express
                                    • Private label matches branded in fresh
                                      • Figure 21: MULO sales of fresh vegetables and fresh-cut salad, by private label brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                    • Del Monte, Goya work against negative shelf-stable perceptions
                                      • Figure 22: Online video – “Simply Sensational Chili” – Goya Foods
                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                    • Frozen struggles with in-store location and health
                                      • Largest frozen brands look to bounce back
                                        • Frozen vegetables without free-from claims lag behind those that do in purchase intent
                                          • Figure 23: Purchase intent, with and without claim, October 2016-February 2017
                                        • Shelf-stable vegetables struggle with health perceptions, shrinking convenience
                                          • Figure 24: Online video – “Yucatan Pork and Beans” – ConAgra Brands
                                        • Taste and excitement another issue with shelf-stable products
                                          • Figure 25: Consumer perception of attributes, by vegetable types, by tasty and exciting, October 2016-February 2017
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Packaging to extend occasions
                                          • Convenient packaging for snacking and storage
                                            • What you see is what you get
                                              • Master cook in minutes
                                                • Experiential produce and services from stores
                                                  • Local love
                                                    • Misfit produce programs
                                                      • Preparing produce
                                                        • Cooking tutorials, sampling
                                                          • Vegetable-based foods
                                                            • Figure 26: TV Ad – “Snow Angel” – Green Giant
                                                            • Figure 27: Vegetable launches, by riced vegetables, mashed vegetables, and vegetable noodles, 2014-16
                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Vegetable purchase is universal, especially for fresh
                                                            • Shelf-stable vegetables have room to improve flavor and suggest convenient uses
                                                              • Consumers look for vegetable snacking options, recipe inspiration
                                                                • The less additives, the better
                                                                  • Packaging changes may extend occasions
                                                                  • Vegetable Purchase

                                                                    • Nearly all consumers purchase fresh vegetables
                                                                      • Figure 28: Vegetable purchase, March 2017
                                                                    • Consumers aged 25-34 most likely to purchase across vegetable types
                                                                      • Figure 29: Vegetable purchase, by age, March 2017
                                                                    • Parents purchase a broader variety of vegetables
                                                                      • Figure 30: Vegetable purchase, by parental status, March 2017
                                                                    • Asians and Hispanics most likely to buy organic, misshapen vegetables
                                                                      • Figure 31: Vegetable purchase, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2017
                                                                  • Stores Shopped for Vegetables

                                                                    • Supermarkets dominate vegetable purchase location
                                                                      • Figure 32: Vegetable purchase, by channel, March 2017
                                                                    • Traditional, natural supermarkets have most organic activity
                                                                      • Figure 33: Vegetable purchase, by organic vegetables, by channel, March 2017
                                                                    • Household income plays role in channel choice
                                                                      • Figure 34: Any vegetable purchase, by channel, by annual household income, March 2017
                                                                    • Urban shoppers use the most store types
                                                                      • Figure 35: Any vegetable purchase, by area of residence, March 2017
                                                                    • Younger consumers shop for vegetables beyond supermarkets
                                                                      • Figure 36: Any vegetable purchase, by channel, by age, March 2017
                                                                    • Parents with multiple children more likely to purchase across channels
                                                                      • Figure 37: Any vegetable purchase, by channel, by parental status, March 2017
                                                                  • Vegetable Perceptions and Uses

                                                                    • Opportunities abound for recipe suggestions across vegetable types
                                                                        • Figure 38: Correspondence analysis – Vegetable types, perception and uses, March 2017
                                                                        • Figure 39: Vegetable types, perception and uses, March 2017
                                                                    • Vegetable Behavior

                                                                      • Simple vegetable snacks may increase purchase in category
                                                                        • Figure 40: Vegetable behavior, by snacking and buying, March 2017
                                                                      • Opportunities for inspiration from restaurants, initiatives to reduce waste
                                                                        • Figure 41: Vegetable behavior, by use, inspiration, and waste, March 2017
                                                                      • Younger consumers interested in snackable, recipe-friendly vegetables
                                                                        • Figure 42: Vegetable behavior, by age, March 2017
                                                                      • Parents seek out recipe inspiration, international flavors
                                                                        • Figure 43: Vegetable behavior, by inspiration and flavor, by parental status, March 2017
                                                                      • Product transparency especially appeals to parents
                                                                        • Figure 44: Vegetable behavior, by origin, waste, vegetarian, and vegan, by parental status, March 2017
                                                                      • Race and origin influence vegetable behavior
                                                                        • Figure 45: Vegetable behavior, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2017
                                                                    • Vegetable Attitudes

                                                                      • Favorable view on misshapen vegetables, confusion on GMOs
                                                                        • Figure 46: Vegetable attitudes, by misshapen and GMOs, March 2017
                                                                      • Consumers have positive views on store brand, locally grown vegetables
                                                                        • Figure 47: Vegetable attitudes, March 2017
                                                                      • Opportunity for non-fresh vegetables to focus on food waste initiatives
                                                                        • Figure 48: Vegetable attitudes, by waste, March 2017
                                                                      • Consumers note difficulties in eating enough vegetables
                                                                        • Figure 49: Vegetable attitudes, March 2017
                                                                      • Age and gender play key roles in vegetable attitudes
                                                                        • Older women value misshapen vegetables, waste reduction offered by shelf-stable
                                                                          • Figure 50: Vegetable attitudes, misshapen vegetables and food waste reduction, by gender and age, March 2017
                                                                        • Older consumers more accepting of non-branded; younger, of organic vegetables
                                                                          • Figure 51: Vegetable attitudes, non-branded, locally grown, organic, and convenience, by gender and age, March 2017
                                                                        • Non-parents exhibit interest in misshapen, non-branded vegetables
                                                                          • Figure 52: Vegetable attitudes, by misshapen and store non-branded, by parental status, March 2017
                                                                        • Parents confused with GMOs, struggle to incorporate vegetables into diet
                                                                          • Figure 53: Vegetable attitudes, by GMOs, diet, waste, and organic, by parental status, March 2017
                                                                        • Blacks, Hispanics favor organic; Asians buy vegetables in season
                                                                          • Figure 54: Vegetable attitudes, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2017
                                                                      • Vegetable Attributes

                                                                        • Consumers prefer vegetables in their natural state
                                                                          • Figure 55: Vegetable attributes, March 2017
                                                                        • Differences in claims important to vegetable segment buying groups
                                                                          • Purchasers of shelf-stable vegetables express interest in organic claims
                                                                            • Figure 56: Vegetable purchase, by vegetable attributes, organic, March 2017
                                                                          • Buyers of convenience-focused vegetables indicate importance of protein
                                                                            • Figure 57: Vegetable purchase, by vegetable attributes, high protein, March 2017
                                                                          • Attributes’ importance differs by age groups
                                                                            • Older consumers place higher importance on health claims
                                                                              • Figure 58: Vegetable attributes, by age, March 2017
                                                                            • iGeneration/Millennial consumers place importance on organic and protein content
                                                                              • Figure 59: Vegetable attributes, by age, March 2017
                                                                            • Multicultural consumers seek vegetables with number of health claims
                                                                              • Figure 60: Vegetable attributes, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2017
                                                                          • Vegetable Innovation

                                                                            • Vegetable packaging innovations top the list
                                                                              • Figure 61: Vegetable innovation, packaging and kid options, March 2017
                                                                            • Ingredient upgrades and locally grown vegetables of interest to consumers
                                                                              • Figure 62: Vegetable innovation, ingredients and vegetables grown on premise, March 2017
                                                                            • Lifestage influential factor for interest in vegetable features
                                                                              • Younger consumers want convenient packaging, older ones value see-through windows
                                                                                • Figure 63: Vegetable innovation, packaging, by generation, March 2017
                                                                              • iGeneration/Millennial consumers interested in innovative ingredients upgrades
                                                                                • Figure 64: Vegetable innovation, ingredients, occasions, and grown on premise, by generation, March 2017
                                                                              • Consumers from households with income below $75K look for convenient ways to consume vegetables, protein
                                                                                • Figure 65: Vegetable innovation, by household income, March 2017
                                                                              • Blacks interested in transparent window, Hispanics/Asians in seed mixes
                                                                                • Figure 66: Vegetable innovation, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2017
                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                • Sales data
                                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                      • Mintel Menu Insights methodology
                                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                            • Terms
                                                                                            • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                                              • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of vegetables, by segment, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Total US retail sales of vegetables, by segment, at current prices, 2014 and 2016
                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh vegetables, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh vegetables, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable vegetables, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable vegetables, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen vegetables, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen vegetables, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh-cut salad, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh-cut salad, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Total US retail sales of vegetables, by channel, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Total US retail sales of vegetables, by channel, at current prices, 2014 and 16
                                                                                                  • Figure 79: US supermarket sales of vegetables, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                                                  • Figure 80: US sales of vegetables through other retail channels, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                                              • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                                  • Figure 81: MULO sales of fresh vegetables, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                                                  • Figure 82: MULO sales of frozen vegetables, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                                                  • Figure 83: MULO sales of shelf stable vegetables, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016

                                                                                              Companies Covered

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