According to a recent market study by Future Market Insights (FMI), the fresh figs market surpassed US$ 1.1 billion in 2018 and will reportedly grow at a healthy CAGR of 5.3% between 2018 and 2027.
The FMI study finds that fresh figs are gaining popularity worldwide, especially in the regions of North America and Europe, due to the increasing health-conscious population. Growing applications of fresh figs in food processing as well as in the foodservice industry has increased due to their high nutritional composition and natural sweetness.
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Fresh Figs to Replace Sugar as a Natural Sweetener, Expanding the Scope of Applications
Fresh figs have long been touted for their health benefits, and have been used in various culinary recipes. The fruit is packed with various nutrients and fibers, plus, it has a significant amount of natural sugar. The health-conscious population has been significant increasing, globally, and processed food manufacturers want to cater to the demand from this particular population.
Health-conscious population across the world is seeking alternatives that are economical as well as high in nutrition. Fresh figs serve this purpose, and thus, their use in the food and beverage industry as a natural sweetener has increased.
Though transportation and storage of fresh figs is an issue, but manufacturers are using alternatives such as preparing marmalades and concentrates of fresh figs so that there is increased shelf life and easy and cost-saving transport.
Consumer Demand for Exotic Flavors in Food Products to Bolster Sales
Exotic flavours are trending and enjoying increased demand in the food and beverage sector. Innovative and exotic food flavours are experiencing great demand in various products such as ice creams, yogurts, snacks, etc. Fresh figs have an exotic taste and sweet aroma that is not favoured by everyone consuming them. But their incorporation in products such as ice creams, yogurts, etc., brings out a sweet taste, which is preferred by consumers in the countries in North America and Europe. Thus, the consumer base is developing a sweet tooth for products containing fresh figs as an ingredient and as an exotic flavor.
Moreover, less sweet varieties of fresh figs, such as the Kadota variety, are being used in salads because their sweet flavour is experienced when the food product they are added to has a slightly salty flavour. Various varieties of fresh figs are available in the market that can be used in specific applications to experience the exotic taste that foodservice providers around the world are experimenting with and desire.
Mediterranean-grown Fresh Figs Witnessing Incremental Demand in Developing Countries
Fresh figs are most prevalent in the Mediterranean region that produces the highest amount of fresh figs in the world. Mediterranean grown fresh figs are also in high demand due to the significant amount of vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants that they contain.
Also, the quality and taste of the fresh figs grown in this region are highly favoured as compared to the fresh figs that are grown in other regions. This has resulted in the growers in the Mediterranean region increasing their capacity and adapting to the organic farming methods to obtain high yield and greater value.
Demand is mostly from Asian countries that do not produce figs in abundant quantities. The preference of the variety of fresh figs in this region is for the produce from countries in the Mediterranean region such as Turkey, Iran, etc.