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Vegetables - US - June 2015

The roughly $50 billion vegetable market has grown 2-5% annually since 2010. The market has been bolstered by fresh segments (fresh-cut salad and fresh vegetables), and hampered by the smaller frozen and shelf-stable vegetables segments. Mintel expects much of the same through 2020 as consumers further latch on to the fresh food trend while dismissing all things processed. The organic food movement is also significantly benefitting this market, and innovation in this area, especially when coupled with convenient and portable prepared salads and cut vegetables, will move the market forward.

This report looks at the following issues:

  • Frozen and canned “non-fresh” segments are losing relevance
  • Stigmas with vegetable types aren’t being addressed by companies
  • Marketing and product positioning isn’t addressing health needs/interests

The market has been clearly delineated and shows just how successful the fresh food movement has become, while non-fresh segments certainly haven’t pulled their weight, barely growing at a tenth of the pace. Over the next five years, Mintel expects more of the same, led by significant growth with fresh-cut salads and declines with shelf-stable vegetables.

While fresh, loose vegetables contribute the majority of sales, convenient offerings from fresh-cut salad to chopped or steamed, chilled vegetables represent the most exciting and diversified innovations and are the future growth drivers of this market. Unlike many food categories where Millennials represent the core generation of focus, vegetables are most often appealing to the mature consumer. But to retain younger consumers, marketers must seek to develop the whole story behind the brand, going the route of non-GMO and/or organic with at least some of their offerings.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Frozen and canned “non-fresh” segments are losing relevance
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and forecast of vegetables, by segment, 2010-15
          • Stigmas with vegetable types aren’t being addressed by companies
            • Figure 2: Select negative characteristics by vegetable type, March 2015
          • Marketing and product positioning isn’t addressing health needs/interests
            • Figure 3: Attitudes toward vegetables (safety and nutrition), March 2015
          • The opportunities
            • Convenience an inroad for ailing non-fresh segments
              • Figure 4: Select favorable characteristics by vegetable type, March 2015
            • Labels and marketing must tell whole story
              • Figure 5: Purchase and consumption behavior, March 2015
            • Capitalize on Boomer spending power and affinity for health
              • Figure 6: Vegetable purchases, Boomers versus total, March 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Recent years moving vegetables market forward
                • Fresh segments nab nearly all sales while driving growth
                  • Organics fuel natural channel sales
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Vegetables surpasses the $50 billion mark
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of vegetables, at current prices, 2010-20
                      • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of vegetables, at current prices, 2010-20
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Fresh segments approaching 90% of market while driving growth
                      • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of vegetables, by segment, 2015
                      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of vegetables, by segment, at current prices, 2010-20
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Natural markets seeing surge in vegetable sales
                        • Figure 11: Natural supermarket sales of packaged vegetables, by segment, rolling 52 weeks March 2013-March 2015
                    • Market Factors

                      • Aging US population benefitting the vegetables market
                          • Figure 12: Population share percentage, by generation, 2010, 2015, and 2020
                        • Fresh vegetable prices swing wildly since 2011
                          • Figure 13: Changes in food price indexes, fruits and vegetables, 2011-15*
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Packaged salad brands dominate in MULO
                          • Beans getting quite a bit of attention
                            • Carrot producers feeling squeezed
                              • Frozen brands may be missing mark on innovation front
                              • Manufacturer Sales of Vegetables

                                • Fresh-cut salad brands lead the pack
                                  • Manufacturer sales of vegetables
                                    • Figure 14: MULO Sales of vegetables, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                • What’s Working?

                                  • Salad “meals” bolstering market
                                    • Bolthouse maximizing sales with complementary offerings
                                      • Store brands maintain significant presence
                                        • Figure 15: Private label versus name brand launches, vegetables, 2013-15*
                                      • Canned beans’ diverse use brings a bright spot to the shelf-stable sector
                                      • What’s Struggling?

                                        • Fresh leaders feeling competitive strain
                                          • Figure 16: “A True Organic story,” 2015
                                        • Major frozen vegetable brands missing mark with consumers
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Organics to niche further
                                            • Convenience at the heart of growth opportunity
                                              • Kid-friendly innovation expanding in and out of this market
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Age and income impact vegetable purchases
                                                  • Buyers seek out variety with retailers and vegetable products
                                                    • Convenience trend is central to capitalize on for market growth
                                                    • Vegetable Purchases by Type

                                                      • Affluence and maturity drive fresh vegetable purchases
                                                          • Figure 17: Vegetable purchases, March 2015
                                                      • Frozen and Canned Usage

                                                        • Convenient options in opposing usage trajectory
                                                          • Figure 18: Household purchases – Frozen and canned/jarred vegetables, October 2010-December 2014
                                                      • Purchase and Consumption Behavior

                                                        • Variety is the name of the game
                                                            • Figure 19: Purchase and consumption behavior, March 2015
                                                        • Favorable Characteristics

                                                          • Convenience matters
                                                              • Figure 20: Correspondence analysis – favorable characteristics by vegetable type, March 2015
                                                          • Negative Characteristics

                                                            • Spoiling and processing damaging vegetables’ image most
                                                                • Figure 21: Correspondence analysis – Negative characteristics by vegetable type, March 2015
                                                            • Nutritional Info Gathering

                                                              • Label is key but Millennials seek out other sources
                                                                • Figure 22: Nutritional info gathering, March 2015
                                                            • Attitudes toward Vegetables

                                                              • Food safety and nutritional/health info are top of mind
                                                                  • Figure 23: Attitudes toward vegetables (safety and nutrition), March 2015
                                                              • What Matters to Millennials

                                                                • Convenience, information, and health are key drivers
                                                                    • Figure 24: Attitudes toward vegetables (safety and nutrition), by generation, March 2015
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Sales data
                                                                      • Fan chart forecast methodology
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Correspondence map methodology
                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                              • Appendix – Market

                                                                                • Market sales and forecast
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Total US sales and forecast of vegetables, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                                                • Retail channel sales of packaged vegetables
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Total US retail sales of packaged vegetables, by channel, at current prices, 2010-15
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Total US retail sales of packaged vegetables, by channel, at current prices, 2013 and 2015
                                                                                • Macroeconomic factors
                                                                                  • Figure 28: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2011-March 2015*
                                                                                  • Figure 29: Disposable personal income, January 2011-February 2015*
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Consumer confidence, January 2011-March 2015*
                                                                              • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                  • Figure 31: MULO sales of fresh vegetables, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                  • Figure 32: MULO sales of shelf-stable vegetables, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                  • Figure 33: MULO sales of frozen vegetables, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                  • Figure 34: MULO sales of fresh-cut salad, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                                • Experian Simmons
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Household purchases – canned/jarred vegetables (excl. tomatoes), October 2010-December 2014
                                                                                  • Figure 36: Household purchases – frozen vegetables (excl. potatoes), October 2010-December 2014

                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                              • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                              Vegetables - US - June 2015

                                                                              US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)