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The food sector experiencing the largest growth In consumer expenditure Is fruit and vegetables. The UK vegetable market tends to be dominated by national and regional firms, rather than multinationals. The increasing variety of fruit available in supermarkets and the year-round availability Is likely to result in a continuing Increase in the consumption of fresh fruit. Consumption of fresh green vegetables, whilst increasing, is at a much slower ate than fruit and consumption of fresh potatoes is likely to continue to decline as people change to pasta and rice as an alternative.

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Demand for healthy foods is having an increasing influence on the market for dairy products, eggs, oils and fats. There Is particularly strong demand, for example, for functional products, such as pro-biotic drinks and yoghurt’s, and cholesterol-reducing spreads and milk. Organic products are also buoyant, and products that link to particular health trends, such as milk with omega-3 oils, are benefiting in growth and Increased sales. As well as health concerns, consumers are apparently becoming more concerned about the source of their food.

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This has resulted in the emergence of some regional brands, for example, Definitely Devon and Deliciously Yorkshire, or regional cheese products such as Cheshire and Hinsdale. The UK confectionery market Is valued at an estimated E. 41 ban in 2006, although growth is slowing as this sector is seen as unhealthy. A move to more healthy options has occurred amongst suppliers with sugar free versions as well as the inclusion of additives such as vitamins. In 2005/06 the most obvious trends In the chocolate market were the moves towards darker and more expensive chocolate.

The health benefits of cocoa were one of the reasons behind the move towards darker chocolates, which are also perceived as higher quality. The market for condiments and sauces has seen only slow growth (of 1%) during the twelve months to August 2005, making an overall market value of Emma during that same period. This slow growth is attributed to the downturn in sales of barbeques and other thick sauces. Improved sales of mayonnaise and tomato ketchup have contributed significantly.

This has been partly due to the Introduction of squeeze formats In plastic bottles as opposed to traditional glass. It Is estimated that there are less than fifty companies manufacturing in the I-J with most being in London and 1 OFF As a whole, the I-J market for soft drinks is large and mature, and it is estimated that it was worth E. Ban at retail selling prices (RSVP) in 2005, a rise of 3. 1% on 2004. Within this market, carbonated soft drinks were worth an estimated E. 1 ban at retail ales price (RSVP).

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