Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is necessary today. A simple cough or cold may lead to different diseases or, worst, infections in the body. Keeping a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables offering various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is highly encouraged. However, most fruits and vegetables tend to contain high amounts of water, limiting their shelf stability and increasing their susceptibility to different microorganisms’ growth.
Drying is the oldest method of food preservation. Food dehydration removes water by circulating hot air through the sample. This method minimally affects the nutritional value of food and prohibits the growth of different enzymes and bacteria. Drying also increases the amount of fiber and carbohydrates in fruits and vegetables per serving, making them healthy food choices.
Food technologies are continuously improving as most consumers prefer healthier options regarding their food choices, including nutritious food alternatives that do not compromise taste and quality. According to the American Heart Association and the International Food Information Council Foundation, about 95% of shoppers seek healthier grocery shopping options. The continuous increase of consumer awareness about health ensured a positive effect on the dried fruit market.
Based on the study of Grand View Research, the global dried fruit market in 2019 was valued at USD 8.94 billion and is projected to grow in the upcoming years significantly. Although the United States accounts for about 17% of dried fruit production globally and is the current leading country in the distribution of dried fruit production worldwide, Europe dominates the market for dried fruits, with more than 30% share of the global revenue. With the substantial increase of health-conscious consumers, the dried fruit market continues to boost its growth exponentially. Hence, the market size is expected to reach up to USD 12.7 billion by 2026, with a 7.1% Compound Annual Growth Rate market growth.
The distribution channels for dried food products comprise supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores, and online stores. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are holding the largest share and account for about 50% of the total revenue. Some of the key companies of the dried fruit market include Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., Sun-Maid Growers of California, Traina Foods Inc., Dole Food Company, Inc., and Jiangsu Palarich Food Co., Ltd. These companies are engaged in production, manufacturing, trading, research, and development of fruit and vegetable dehydration.
A quick search using the World Intellectual Property Office’s (WIPO) Patentscope shows Ocean Spray having 25 published Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications for general food technology, Dole Food with 4, and Sun-Maid just one. The number of patents filed worldwide using the PCT is thus expected to increase proportionally to the number of people becoming more conscious of their dietary options.
Inventors and researchers doing innovation and R&D directed to the dried fruit and vegetable market should ratchet up their work to satisfy market demand.
Nadine is a licensed chemical engineer and prosecutes chemical patent applications handled by PIWI. Her technological interests include food engineering, medical and health sciences, and green technology or environmental technology. Nadine may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.