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The immunity-boosting properties of fresh fruit and vegetables will make them popular choices across New Zealand grocery aisles in 2021, according to fresh produce association United Fresh.

In its annual trend report on the New Zealand market, United Fresh claimed health and well-being tops the list of concerns for shoppers across the country, with the implicationsofthe Covid-19pandemic set to be felt for years to come.

“Foods that boost immunity and those that are viewed as nourishing the body and the mind are expected to be the most sought-after as we re-prioritise health as our number one goal,” the report said.

“Over 20 per cent of shoppers are actively seeking out immunity-boosting food and beverage options; fresh fruit and vegetables, with their natural ‘health halo’, are top of the list.”

The size and frequency of the average shop is also changing, according to the report.

“For several years now the trend towards shopping more often for smaller amounts has been number one on the list of consumer behaviour changes,” the report said. “Covid-19 has stopped that in its tracks with nearly 20 per cent of Kiwis choosing to return to the ‘big shop’.

“Research by Foodstuffs shows Kiwis are making around 50 per cent fewer visits to stores each week despite our lack of community transmission.”

Another key trend forming in New Zealand is a push towards online shopping.

“In 2019, less than 10 per cent of Kiwis shopped for groceries online,” the report said. “Thanks to Covid-19 and a nationwide lockdown, those numbers have surged to nearly 30 per cent.

“Shoppers thathad never tried an online weekly shop have become converts and such a rapid increase hasledto significant changes for the grocery trade.”

Read more onUnited Fresh's trend report in the upcoming Autumn edition of Produce Plus.