New Research Show Health Trends Will Bolster Demand for Fresh Produce

New Research Show Health Trends Will Bolster Demand for Fresh Produce

It is difficult to beat the nutrition that fresh fruits and vegetables deliver in each bite, according to a recent analysis by market research company Numerator, which confirms a growing number of consumers, especially younger shoppers, agree.

This report forecasts in the next five years, U.S. shoppers will prioritize unprocessed, fresh produce consumption to support wellness goals. This back-to-basics health focus would mean increased demand for fresh produce, exceeding fresh fruit and vegetable category growth of the past five years.

Increasingly, shopper habits will reflect a focus on healthy eating choices grounded in food-as-medicine over vitamins and supplements. With millennials raising families, immigration bolstering U.S. population growth and Gen Z consumers gaining purchasing power, health trends focused on nutritious diet choices will accelerate in the next five years, according to Numerator.

In its “Population Preview: The Next Trends by the People Who Drive Them” report, Numerator delivers purchasing analysis and insights, predicting U.S. consumer behavior for the next five years, sourced from first-party, consumer behavior information and U.S. Census data.

“Although consumers find vitamins and supplements important, younger households have become more focused on what they consume [versus] how they supplement,” said the report. “As millennials age, we could see health be defined as fresh produce and alternative meats, and a rise in products meant to offset fatigue and deliver convenience.”

Additionally, Gen Z and Millennials spend a larger share of their grocery dollars (+8%) on produce than older generations and 69% of Gen Z shoppers claim they monitor food and beverage choices, said the report.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population grew by only 0.1% in 2021. Declining birth rates, coupled with an uptick in deaths, have resulted in the slowest population growth rate since the founding of the nation. As the U.S. population shifts older, U.S. Census modeling predicts foreign-born households are likely to drive population growth in the next five years.  

According to Numerator’s analysis, these first-generation immigrant households will prioritize scratch cooking and source a diverse range of flavors, revealing yet another opportunity to market fresh fruits and vegetables to an evolving U.S. demographic.