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Outlook – Global Fruit and Vegetable Processing Market


Outlook – Global Fruit and Vegetable Processing Market

At a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 7.5%, the global fruit and vegetable processing market is set to reach $530 billion by 2028. A subset of food processing, fruit and vegetable processing results in food ingredients as well as food for immediate consumption. Some of the more common products are pulp, juice, canned vegetables, or fruit pieces. 

Once a niche industry, fruit and vegetable processing has been an ever-expanding market thanks in large part to the demand for processed food, trends in eating, as well as greater disposable income. Covid only intensified the desire for greater safety and quality as it relates to food consumption with manufacturers compelled to enhance the value of their products in markets around the globe. 

The fruit and vegetable processing market is commonly divided into one of four types of products: canned, dehydrated and dried, frozen, and others. The processing technology is typically pulsed electric field, high-pressure, or microwave. Equipment varies by country and the key market players are Kraft Heinz Company, Syntegon Technology GmbH, Del Monte Foods, GFA Group, Greencore Group, and JBT Corporation among others. 

While the fruit and vegetable processing market outlook is rosy, some factors could stifle growth. Food recalls are front and center. In most countries recalls occur when criticism (or worse, an actual poisoning) is levied and the manufacturer, wholesaler, and/or government chooses to remove the product as it may pose a safety risk to consumers. While the recall might be presumptuous in nature, most manufacturers prefer to get ahead of such allegations so as not to sully the company’s brand.

Another challenge inherent to the fruit and vegetable processing market is infections and physiological deterioration. This is an ongoing challenge, no matter the economic conditions. Low atmospheric humidity, physical injury, and high temperatures are the leading causes of deterioration. Firms invest and divert considerable sums to mitigate these threats. 

At a regional level, Asia Pacific is expected to register the highest revenue growth rate. India, Japan, and China most notably are spending more resources on fruit and vegetable production (as opposed to grain) for agricultural development. Meanwhile, North America will benefit from rising demand from its own residents as well as Canada and Mexico. In terms of all markets outside of Asia Pacific, North America is poised to account for robust revenue growth. Europe, on the other hand, will expand less rapidly but is still expected to post stable growth. 


USTR, DOC, and Department of Agriculture Issue Plan to Investigate Foreign Imports of Certain Perishable Produce

On September 1, 2020 the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Department of Agriculture, and Department of Commerce issued a 32-page report outlining the Trump Administration’s plan to address increased foreign imports of perishable fruits and vegetables. Following the public hearings held in August, the Administration published this report in hopes to open a dialogue with senior Mexican Government officials over the next 90 days regarding specific produce.

The USTR requested that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) formally initiate an investigation under Section 201of the Trade Act of 1974 (Global Safeguard Investigation) with respect to imports of blueberries. Additionally, USTR intends to request that the ITC monitor and investigate imports of strawberries and bell peppers, which could lead to an expedited Section 201 investigations later this year.

The USTR is separately pursuing negotiations with the Mexican government to address U.S. industry concerns over imports of strawberries, bell peppers, and other perishable products. Section 201 investigations occur when a country experiences an unexpected surge in the import quantity of a certain product. The most recent Section 201 investigation was used to limit imports of solar panels and washing machines in 2018.

Other initiatives include the Department of Commerce improving communication with U.S. farmers responsible for growing the subject produce and assisting them in understanding trade remedy laws and procedures.

Similarly, the Department of Agriculture will develop a market promotion strategy for domestically produced produce and work with producers to maximize the use of existing agriculture programs. USTR, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Agriculture will establish an interagency working group to monitor seasonal and perishable fruit and vegetable products, coordinate as appropriate regarding future investigations and trade actions, and provide technical assistance to Congress in developing legislation on this issue.

The interagency announcement regarding imports of certain fruits and vegetables follows media reports that U.S. farmers are on track to receive a record $37.2 billion in subsidies from the government this year.


Stephen Brophy is an attorney in Husch Blackwell LLP’s Washington, D.C. office focusing on international trade.

Turner Kim is an Assistant Trade Analyst in Husch Blackwell LLP’s Washington, D.C. office.

Camron Greer is an Assistant Trade Analyst in Husch Blackwell LLP’s Washington, D.C. office.