Market data from Euromonitor shows that indicates that the global demand for fresh food amounted to 1.95 billion tonnes in 2013, a 2% growth on 2012 - with the 'increasingly lucrative' developing markets of Middle East and Africa (MEA), Asia Pacific and Latin America driving global growth in the past 12 months.
Anastasia Alieva, head of fresh food at Euromonitor International told FoodNavigator that fresh food consumption in MEA increased by 3% in 2013, with the fastest growing market in the area attributed to UAE (7% growth).
While consumption remained high in Eastern Europe, the market for Western Europe declined marginally, by 0.3% in 2013, said Alieva - who noted negative dynamics in Germany, where the market declined by 2%, as well as Finland, Denmark and Netherlands.
Indeed, she noted that fresh food consumption in Western Europe and North America remained notably lower thanks to busy lifestyles and stronger consumer preferences for the convenience and the 'added value' nature of packaged and processed foods.
"The average Chinese consumer eats 501 kg of fresh food a year while the average Briton consumes only 185 kg," the Euromonitor expert told us.
In the Asian region several countries saw dynamic growth in 2013, including Singapore (4.5% volume growth), Philippines (4%) Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand and Indonesia (3% each).
Indeed, in the Asian region, Japan was the only market to witness a decline of 1%, said Alieva.
However, the fastest growing global market for fresh food between 2008 and 2013 was India, with a volume increase of 27%.
"Here, fresh food sales have been driven by stronger incomes, improving distribution and demand from developing foodservice," she explained.