In Belgium, consumption of cucumbers has nearly doubled over the last 15 years, and cooperative BelOrta says a whole new market is opening up for snacking and added convenience

Volumes of various seasonal vegetables are on the rise at Belgian cooperative BelOrta as spring conditions start to bed in. The cucumber season officially kicked off on 26 January, but only now are they reaching full availability.

“With a focus on local cultivation and high-quality products, BelOrta has established itself as the go-to provider for premium cucumbers both domestically and internationally,” the cooperative said. “The popularity of BelOrta cucumbers beyond national borders is reflected in the export figures, as the increased supply continues to find its way to both domestic and international markets.”

BelOrta cucumbers

According to data from GFK, on behalf of Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM), cucumber consumption in Belgium has almost doubled compared with 15 years ago. Back then, consumers ate an average of 780g of cucumbers a year; now that figure has increased to 1.45kg.

“Furthermore, these statistics show that the main buyers in Belgium are primarily families with children and young singles,” BelOrta revealed. “These groups have embraced the versatility and convenience of cucumbers, making them indispensable in the kitchen.”

In recent years, BelOrta has seen considerable growth in specialty cucumbers. “With the growing consumer interest in snack cucumbers and cocktail cucumbers, a whole new market segment has emerged,” the cooperative stated. “Snack cucumbers are often offered together with snack tomatoes and snack bell peppers in on-the-go concepts such as shakers or bags, but they also find their way into aperitif and tapas applications.”

Cocktail cucumbers, on the other hand, have experienced growth due to the “snackification” trend, according to BelOrta. “They are seen as a healthy alternative for snacking,” the cooperative said. “The latter are offered by BelOrta in the Crunchy King segment.”