While fruit and vegetable specialist Greenyard recorded a 2.5% volume drop for fresh product sales during the first nine months of the financial year, prices paid by consumers have risen and both volume and value were up for frozen and canned (long fresh) products, the Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium-headquartered company reported on February 20.
The bottom line for the first three quarters of the fiscal year, which ended on December 31, 2022, showed a net sales increase of
7.2% in comparison with the same period the year before. Greenyard generated approximately €3,382.5m, versus €3,156.8m previously. In its third quarter of the financial year, it rang up €1,112.4m of like-for-like (LfL) net sales, which was 6.8% higher than the €1,041.2m figure logged during
same period in the prior year.
For the third quarter of the financial year, LfL net sales grew by 3.9%, from €841.7m to €874.2m. For the first nine months of the financial year, LfL net revenues increased by 5.3% compared with the same period in the last fiscal year, from € 2,616.2m to €2,753.8m.
Post-Covid Pandemic and Inflation Impact
Freshfel Europe, a trade association representing the interests of the fresh fruit and vegetables supply chain, estimated that the average European consumption per capita/day of fresh produce would decline by 10% during 2022 in comparison with the previous year, due to the post-Covid return to out-of-home consumption as well as lower consumer purchasing power due to inflation. This caused pressure on total volumes, premium products and certain segments, such as organic, even though price increases in the fresh fruit and vegetable categories are among the lowest in the food segment.
Greenyard’s Fresh segment’s performance recorded 7.4% growth from price increases and -2.5% lower volume, whereby volumes are still 6.5% higher than pre-Covid times. In particular, its relative position is improving the core markets of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany).
The expectation is that, in the medium term, prices will rightfully reflect the complexity and true costs in the chain. In parallel, volumes are likely to recover, driven by consumers seeking healthy diets.
For the last quarter, LfL net sales in the Long Fresh frozen and canned products sector grew by 19.3%, from €199.4m to €238.1m. LfL net sales accelerated during the period as LfL net sales for the first nine months grew by 16.3% from €540.6m to € 628.7m. Out of the 16.3% growth, 10.7% was related to price increases (of which 0.5% was attributed to FX headwinds) and 5.1% was related to volume increases.
This volume rise results from positive demand momentum for affordable private label frozen and ambient fruit and vegetable categories, driven by health-conscious consumers seeking convenience and pure plant meal solutions.