In Italy, we call them small fruits or berries and the category includes fruits characterized by their small size and red or purple color that are part of very different botanical species. Small fruits include raspberries and blackberries, blueberries, currants, gooseberries, strawberries and wild strawberries.
A variegated set of species and cultivars characterized by a common denominator: the recognized connotation of wholesomeness and ease of consumption.
They are unanimously considered superfoods for their nutritional characteristics and some define them as longevity food. The fruits to eat to keep fit over time.
With these characteristics, perfectly in line with the current global purchasing drivers, soft fruits represent an important prospect for the Italian producers associated with AOP Gruppo Vi.Va who support the European project Fruit & Veg.: Natural Health!, in its second year of activity. The project aims to promote the consumption of products with a high health content such as small fruits. The companies involved in the production are Apofruit and Coop Sole and the territories interested in cultivation are Emilia Romagna, Lazio Sicily and Campania.
We talk about 55 hectares cultivated with a constant increase over the last 5 years. The progression in terms of surfaces goes hand in hand with the increase in demand thanks above all to the way in which they are packaged and placed on the market. In fact, these are the Chicche di Natura mixes of small fruits and strawberries ready to use and to be enjoyed anywhere, always at hand for a break of well-being and goodness.
Chicche di Natura are packaged in 80g glasses but also in baskets of different weights to satisfy the most demanding consumers. In fact, the most recent purchasing trends highlight the consumer’s need for differentiated packaging, even of sufficient size for a weekly purchase (500 g packs) and the demand for an increasingly longer shelf life of the fruit. In Italy, the annual growth of the category of small fruits is estimated at around 15-20% per year of increase in volume but consumption is much lower than the trends of the northern European countries which today amount to only 200/300 g of blueberries per year. year with economic analysts forecast to reach 860 g per capita in 2026.
The organic offer gives a fundamental impetus to the growth in consumption of small fruits. In the USA, in 2020, in full pandemic, the increase in consumption of organic berries was 30% more than the conventional product.
Also on this front, AOP Vi.VA Group offers a concrete answer with Almaverde Bio brand, also present in the Fruvenh project and continuously growing in terms of volumes. Almaverde Bio blueberries combine the value of organic products with the Italian nature of the product, grown by Almaverde Bio partners in Piedmont and Lombardy.
Fruit & Veg: Natural Health! is a European project promoted and developed by Gruppo Vi.Va AOP, which gathers the participation of Apofruit, Canova Codma OP, Coop. Sole. La Mongolfiera, Pempacorer-Terremerse, Solarelli, Ortoromi and O.P. Land of Bari.