The Colombian fruits and vegetable market has reached to USD 18.7 million metric ton in 2019 and is expected to register a CAGR of 3.1% during the forecast period (2020-2025). With the growing importance of nutritional balance among various consumer groups, the consumption of fruits is expanding in the country. Banana, lemon, lime, berry, onion, orange, and pineapple among others are the highly traded commodities under fruits and vegetable segment of the country.
Due to the nutritional properties of fruits, in recent years, the consumption of minimally processed juices, beverages and smoothies have become an alternative for healthy eating habits, which will further boost the fresh produce of the country in the coming years.
Key Market Trends
Strong Distribution and Retail Networks are Driving the Colombian Fresh Produce Sector
Chile, the United States, and Peru are the major markets for fresh produce imports. Moreover, the fresh produce import rate in Colombia has been increasing at a faster pace than the global imports, since the past five years. Consumers, with their changing food preferences, are willing to pay more for an assortment of produce that excels at traits, like freshness, quality, flavor, safety, and convenience. Moreover, there is an increase in the number of retail chains that cater to such needs of consumers.
Retail food players, manufacturers, distributors, and other retailers are expected to leverage this opportunity. Their share is expected to increase from 18% to over 25% in the near future. These days. hyper and supermarkets are focusing on consolidation. Almacenes Exito, Carulla-Vivero, Carrefour, Supertiendas Olimpica, Alkosto, Makro, Cafam, Colsubsidio and La 14, and Surtifruver are the main hypermarkets/supermarkets in Colombia. These retail chains are undergoing rapid expansions, thereby strengthening the distribution links of fresh produce in the domestic market.
Bananas to Dominate the Fresh Produce Sector
Bananas are the country's most popular fruit and one of the most important tropical foods garnering nearly 21% share of the fresh produce of the country. According to FAO, banana production was 37,07,152 metric tons which were produced in 1,31,260 hectares in the country in the year 2018. Bananas have a high rate of domestic consumption, with only about 17% of bananas exported to foreign markets annually. About two-thirds of bananas are destined for Europe and the United States. In Colombia, the banana market is highly characterized by horizontal and vertical integration within the value chain and highly competitive export market focused in the country. Increased demand from the global markets has rendered banana plantations increasingly dependent on agrochemicals, which has slightly hampered the country's demand over the past few years.
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