United Fresh News > TREND REPORT 2019: The Year of the Rise of Fresh Produce - Part 2

15 March 2019

TREND REPORT 2019: The Year of the Rise of Fresh Produce - Part 2

Welcome to Part Two of our United Fresh Trend Report including cannabis and beauty benefits! Global indications show fresh fruit and vegetables at the top of every trend list.

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6. Māori Garden Growth

Young Māori are at the forefront of the coming green revolution with the rediscovery of traditional growing techniques and heritage varieties of plants such as the kūmara, as well as the use of te reo in gardening - 5+ A Day’s most successful campaign last year was during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and Jade Temepara’s He Kākano gardening show on Māori TV highlighted the benefits of growing and cooking your own vegetables to a wide audience of te reo speakers. The 5+ A Day campaign highlighted the growing movement with their slogan ‘Ngā huarākau me ngā huawhenua mo te oranga’, ‘Fruit and vegetables for well-being’. With a combined focus on strengthening the mind and the body, the campaign’s combination of language-learning and healthy eating put the spotlight on key vegetables used in Māori kai blended with modern flavours and cooking styles. New developments and partnerships which encourage the involvement of young Māori are emerging across all primary industries. The Māori Kiwifruit Growers Forum which works in conjunction with Zespri and Te Puni Kōkiri are an excellent example of this with their focus on growing Māori leadership, education and expertise within this multi-million dollar industry. Bringing jobs and a share in the wealth generated by the kiwifruit industry to remote areas such as Te Kaha and Ōpōtiki, industry partnerships with local iwi are proving a win-win situation for all.


7.Beauty Benefits

Beauty products with natural ingredients have been increasing in popularity for several years now. In 2019 the quest for perfect skin will include a greater focus on diet and the benefits of ingesting products deemed super ‘skin food’. While coconut oil and avocado were top of the hitlist last year, look for blueberries, pumpkin, chamomile and papaya to emerge as the heroes of 2019. While tasty little blueberries have become a popular snack, their health and beauty benefits are becoming increasingly important to consumers. Containing one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit, blueberries are now being added to daily beauty rituals for healthy skin as well as a healthy body. The vitamins C and E in blueberries help remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of new ones, while the vitamin A is a great collagen booster and a high concentration of Anthocyanin helps reduce inflammation. Now found in everything from cleansers to anti-wrinkle creams, look for more blueberry-based beauty products emerging over the coming year.



The global beverage trade is experiencing some of the highest growth in all of the FMCG categories. A daily green smoothie, kombucha, matcha tea or turmeric latte have become as popular as the old standards of tea, coffee and juice.

Smoothies are set to continue to top the list for those looking for a quick health fix. Whether it’s homemade before you rush out the door or picked up at a local vendor, a blended glass of fresh produce is still a quick solution for a treat-on-the-go. New additions to the classic green smoothie recipe include oat milk (high in protein), activated charcoal, collagen, CBD oil, hemp seeds, mushrooms and, in the international market, Pacifica fruit such as guava and dragon fruit. The movement away from disposable plastic cups and straws is set to continue with large corporations from supermarkets to restaurant chains and even the state of California banning plastic straws. Fortunately for smoothie fans, both metal straws, paper versions and the smoothie bowl have emerged as alternatives to ensure the continuation of our daily dose of blended fresh fruit and vegetable goodness.


9.The Death of Boiled Vege

Research has shown us that fresh is best when it comes to our daily vege and boiling them in water significantly reduces the nutritional value of many of our favourites. If they’re not pureed in a smoothie or slow roasted in the oven, how will we be cooking our carrots and spinach this year? According to Pinterest, sealed in tinfoil is the ‘new’ trend, with images of foil packet dinners achieving the highest number of ‘pins’ on the image sharing site. Steam cooking in parchment or foil is certainly not a new technique to the kitchen, but the combination of ‘clean’, low-fat cooking and easy clean-up is a clear winner for the home cook.

Air fryers are enjoying an upswing in popularity with their promise of diet-friendly fried food - what’s not to like? Preparing beetroot and kumara fries or even the dreaded kale chips is apparently a breeze in a modern air fryer, with many cooking a whole roast chicken and swearing they replace all of the functions of a standard oven at a fraction of the cost.

Anything to do with gut health and pre or probiotics is still a major food trend over the coming year. Pickling and fermenting vegetables remains on the rise with the popularity of kimchi and sauerkraut continuing on from 2018. The addition of chillies and hot spices to pickle mixtures adds a new spin on these classics.



As the legal standing of medicinal cannabis evolves, so too does the use of cannabis-related food products. Fruit and vegetable growers across the country are keeping a close eye on this developing market as opportunities to get a slice of the ‘green’ economy pie become clearer. Whether it’s growing for medicinal use or for more mainstream products such as CBD oil, there’s no doubt that demand for these products will create enormous demand in our primary industry.