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Market Brief For The Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

This market brief describes the market for fresh fruit and vegetables in the Nordic Countries, which are normally used directly by consumers or as raw materials by the edible food industry.

 Basic Facts about the Nordic Countries

 -  The Nordic countries include three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden and Norway and the republic of Finland. Iceland is usually considered as part of the Nordic countries because of its geographic, historic and cultural relations.

 -Denmark, Sweden and Finland are members of the European Union (EU), which has 27 member states. Norway is not part of the EU. However, Norway is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which participates in the European Union's market via the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.

 -Finland has also joined the EU monetary union, generally called the Euro-area. However, Denmark, Sweden and Norway are presently not part of the EU monetary union, and therefore still use their own respective national currencies, the Danish Krone, the Swedish Krona, and the Norwegian Krone.

 -Each Nordic country has its own official language - Danish in Denmark, Norwegian in Norway, Swedish in Sweden, and Finnish and Swedish in Finland. Even though many Nordic people can easily understand each others everyday language, English is widely used.

 -         The Nordic countries have a total of 25 million inhabitants, of which the population in Denmark amounts to 5.5 million (22%), Norway 4.8 million (19%), Sweden 9.3 million (37%), and Finland 5.4 million (22%). About 3 million (12%) of the total population are immigrants.

 -         More than 85 percent of the population lives in urban areas.

MARKET BRIEF FOR THE FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES MARKET IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES

 

This market brief describes the market for fresh fruit and vegetables in the Nordic Countries, which are normally used directly by consumers or as raw materials by the edible food industry.

 

Basic Facts about the Nordic Countries

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->The Nordic countries include three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden and Norway and the republic of Finland. Iceland is usually considered as part of the Nordic countries because of its geographic, historic and cultural relations.

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Denmark, Sweden and Finland are members of the European Union (EU), which has 27 member states. Norway is not part of the EU. However, Norway is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which participates in the European Union's market via the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Finland has also joined the EU monetary union, generally called the Euro-area. However, Denmark, Sweden and Norway are presently not part of the EU monetary union, and therefore still use their own respective national currencies, the Danish Krone, the Swedish Krona, and the Norwegian Krone.

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Each Nordic country has its own official language - Danish in Denmark, Norwegian in Norway, Swedish in Sweden, and Finnish and Swedish in Finland. Even though many Nordic people can easily understand each others everyday language, English is widely used.

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->The Nordic countries have a total of 25 million inhabitants, of which the population in Denmark amounts to 5.5 million (22%), Norway 4.8 million (19%), Sweden 9.3 million (37%), and Finland 5.4 million (22%). About 3 million (12%) of the total population are immigrants.

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->More than 85 percent of the population lives in urban areas.

 

Market Information

Market Size

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-          <!--[endif]-->Consumption of fruit in the Nordic countries is about 68 kg per person, while consumption of vegetables amounted to around 64 kg per person. (therefore currently the total consumption of fresh produce amounts to just 132 kg per person.)

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->The Nordic countries have one of the worlds largest consumption of frozen foods, around 30 kg per person and year.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->The total Nordic market size for fresh produce amounted to about 3,300,000 tonnes in 2007, of which fruit accounted for 1,700,000 tonnes (52%) and vegetables for 1,600,000 tonnes (48%).

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has for many years been on an upward trend but slowed down in 2008 and 2009 mainly due to the economic recession.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->The Swedish market is the largest with about 40 percent of the volume, or about 1,250,000 tonnes in 2007. The same year, the Danish market amounted to 840,000 tonnes (25%), while the Norwegian market was 580,000 tonnes (18%) tonnes and the Finnish was 620,000 tonnes (19%).

 

 

 

Market Trends

The consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables has over the years been on a very positive trend, in all Nordic countries. This is attributed to several factors, including;

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Growing interest on healthy lifestyles

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Shift from quantitative to qualitative factors

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Price

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Value added food products with regard to taste, shape, nutrition, variety, and convenience.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Concern over food safety and the environment i.e. how a product is grown, transported and handled, all the way from the farm to the supermarket

 

All these factors have influenced the food distribution channels, both retailers and wholesalers, to rely more and more on consumer satisfaction, in order to successfully compete in the market.

 

Consumer trends have favoured fruit and vegetables that can be associated with one or several of the following categories:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Healthy products with high nutritional value

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Organic and fair-trade products (increasing concern about farm and production conditions, both environmental and social)

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Exotic and ethnic products

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Convenience products

 

Market Segments

The Nordic market for fresh fruit and vegetables can be divided into three main segments;

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.      <!--[endif]-->Food retailing sector consisting of three kinds of stores namely; general grocery, convenience and single line sores/markets. They account for over 60% of the market share. There are also discount stores.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2.      <!--[endif]-->Food service sector including fast food outlets, coffee shops, restaurants and company and institutional canteens. They account for about 25% of the total food market,

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3.      <!--[endif]-->Food manufacturing industry. They account for about one fifth of the total supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. The food manufacturing industry is characterized by a high degree of concentration, with a few large companies within each type of food branch and has very strong market position.

 

NB:     In the Nordic countries, the consumers are quite traditional and prefer to buy fruit and vegetable products that have been manufactured within their own country.

 

Imports of Fresh Fruits into the Nordic Countries

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Imports normally account for about 70% of the Nordic market supply of fruit and vegetables.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Imports amounted to about 2,240,000 tonnes in 2008, of which fruit accounted for 70% and vegetables for 30%.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->In the recent years, imports have been growing steadily at over 8% when measured by volume.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Major fruits imported include bananas, citrus fruits, mangoes, papaya, dates, tamarind, passion fruits, etc.  Developing countries have a strong position in the trade of bananas and tropical fruit such as pineapples, mangos, papayas, dates, tamarinds, and passion fruit, where the market share exceeds 50 percent.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Major fresh vegetables imported into the Nordic countries include tomatoes, cabbages, lettuce, sweet peppers, onions and cucumbers (which accounted for 80% of total imports).  Other imports include asparagus, lettuce, etc.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Major players outside EU include Senegal (tomatoes), South Africa (brussels sprouts), Kenya (eggplants), Thailand (eggplants), Chile (onions), Argentina (onions), and New Zealand (onions).

 

Leading Suppliers

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->The EU is by far the most important supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to the Nordic market, accounting for 80% of imports by volume and 84% by value.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Substantial part of Nordic imports of fruit and vegetables is done through trading companies in the Netherlands, Germany and other EU countries, which import products from all over the world.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->During 2007 and 2008, the ten largest suppliers from outside the EU were Costa Rica (mainly bananas and pineapples), followed by Panama (bananas), South Africa (citrus fruit, grapes, apples), Argentina (apples, pears, lemons), Ecuador (bananas), Brazil (melons, grapes, apples), Colombia (bananas), Chile (apples, pears, grapes, avocados), Morocco (citrus fruit, tomatoes), and Israel (citrus fruit, peppers).

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Leading exporting countries from Sub-Sahara Africa include S. Africa, Kenya, Cote d’ Voire, Senegal, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Other leading exporters include Morroco, Israel. Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Tunisia, S. Arabia, Syria, New Zealand, Thailand, China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Proportion of import markets by volume is as follows; Sweden (40%), Denmark (26%), Norway (19%) and Finland (15%).

 

Kenya Products with Potential in the Nordic Countries

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->There are only a few vegetables, which are of any real interest for Kenyan exporters. These products include asparagus, peas and beans, sweet corn and baby corn, garlic and spring onions, hot chilli peppers, starchy roots and tubers, as well as a few vegetables associated with Ethnic Cuisine. Other produce include okra, cucumber, aubergines, sweet potatoes, artichokes, etc.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Fresh fruits that have potential include mangoes, avocadoes, papaya, pineapples, passion fruits, strawberries, etc.

 

Distribution Channels

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->There are three main distribution channels for imports of fruit and vegetables into the Nordic countries – large retailing groups with their own import organisation, importing fruit and vegetable wholesalers, and large food manufacturers.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->The Nordic countries have a very high level of concentration within the food sector with the combined market share for the top four retailers within the general grocery store sector (which includes supermarkets and neighbourhood stores but excludes small convenience and food speciality stores)being over 90 percent in all four countries.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-         <!--[endif]-->Below is a table of leading large retailing groups in the Nordic countries;

ICA Group

www.ica.se  

Coop Danmark

www.coop.dk  

Coop Norge

www.coop.no  

Coop Sverige

www.coop.se  

S Group (SOK), Finland

www.sok.fi  

Coop Trading

www.cooptrading.com  

Dansk Supermarked

www.dsg.dk  

SuperGros, Denmark

www.supergros.dk  

NorgesGroup, Norway

www.norgesgruppen.no  

Reitan Group

www.reitangruppen.no  

Axfood, Sweden

www.axfood.se  

Bergendahls, Sweden

www.bergendahls.se   

K-Group (Kesko), Finland

www.kesko.fi  

Suomen Lähikauppa, Finland

www.lahikauppa.fi  

 

 

            Source: Market Report, Focus on the Nordic Market, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: December 2009

 

For further details please contact the Export Promotion Council (EPC).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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