06 Sep 2021

SMALL FRUITS BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF FOOD

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It opens tomorrow Italian Berry Day: visitors to the show in Rimini can visit the area of Macfrut dedicated to berries even before the conference on Wednesday 8/9/2021.

As well as meeting specialist operators at their stands dedicated to the world of berries (Aurorafruit, Fogliati, Ilip, Planasa, SanLucar and Unitec), participants will find the Italian Berry Shop area, where samples of fresh and non-fresh products with berries as a base, ingredient or inspiration are on show. With some surprising forays off the food shelves.

THE FABULOUS WORLD OF BERRIES

by Davide Puca

The unstoppable success of fresh berries is driving the whole sector towards qualities, formats and packaging methods that meet different expectations. In addition to traditional levers such as price and the intrinsic qualities of the fruit, the construction of a solid 'user experience' unrelated to the product plays a crucial role: a ready-to-go snack, a treat for desserts and salads, a superfood for breakfast and so on.

The careful combination of several factors, from packaging and branding to aquality in-store presence, helps to meet consumer desires in an attractive and direct way - or, why not, to create new ones.

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THE THOUSAND FORMS OF THE BERRY: BERRIES IN PROCESSED PRODUCTS

Fresh consumption is but one of many ways to enjoy berries. Perhaps, not even the most frequent. Red fruits such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are the stars of juices, nectars, jams and fruit concentrates. In almost all cases, 'flavors' based on berries constitute the fastest-growing references in their category.

This is because, even in the processed market, there is growing consumer interest in healthier, more nutritious and dietary balanced foods, of which berries is an emblem. It is therefore not surprising that there is a massive presence of berries in premium processed products such as '100% fruit' and 'organic'.

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THE 'ICING ON THE CAKE': BERRIES AS A DISTINCTIVE INGREDIENT

Unmistakable taste, attractive colours and distinctive nutritional qualities are paving the way for red fruits throughout the food world. When berries becomes an ingredient, its presence is immediately prominent: even in very small percentages, it directs communication and redefines the identity of the products themselves.

Think energy bars, cereals, yoghurt, ice cream, biscuits, infusions, fortified waters and syrups - foods where the 'berries' option is almost always synonymous with first choice. Alongside these more predictable references are novelties such as flavoured cheeses and spirits.

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BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF FOOD: BERRIES IN NON-FOOD PRODUCTS

Just a few years ago, no one would have imagined that a niche such as the berry niche would be so popular in sectors as far removed from fruit and vegetables as cosmetics and household and personal care products.

The beneficial connotations of berries make them not just an ingredient but a semantic indicator in 'healthy' positioning strategies, even in the non-food sector. It is for this reason that it is becoming increasingly common to encounter them in both para-pharmaceutical lines and more generalist offerings such as private labels. 

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Photo: Italian Berry - All rights reserved

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