Top performing fruit and vegetables companies: Profitability & growth

Mathieu Geuskens
Published on
July 13, 2022

Financial data can reveal a lot about the performance of an industry. In our fruit and vegetables trend report, we looked at the financial data of the top 300 fruit and vegetables companies in Western Europe. We focus on the following themes: growth in net sales (CAGR), profitability (EBIT) and return on assets (ROA) across the different links of the value chain. In this blog, we zoom in on the top fruit and vegetables companies in terms of growth and profitability. 

Fastest growing fruit and vegetables companies

1. Guillem Export

Guillem Export is a producer of citrus fruits and grew quickly as it joined forces with Grupo Atitlan, integrating the citrus export of this company into Guillem Export.

2. VIP (Val Venosta)

VIP is an Italian association producing primarily apples, but also other fruit and vegetables. The association cultivates “club varieties” like Envy™, Ambrosia™ and Kanzi®.

3. Worldwide Fruit

Worldwide Fruit focuses on supply to the major UK food retailers which all had increased demand for apples, ripened pears, and other healthy products from the first lockdown onwards.

4. Flavourfresh Salads

Flavourfresh Salads is a producer of greenhouse tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries in the United Kingdom. They supply the likes of Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, Booths, Co-op, and M&, so retail trade benefited them immensely

5. Voelkel

Voelkel is a German company producing fresh fruit & vegetable juices. Voelkel is clear market leader in non-alcoholic beverages.

In our report, we examined the performance of the European fruit and vegetable industry with recently updated data for 2020. Below you can see their performance based on net sales and growth development between 2019 - 2020.

Table fast growers

Most profitable fruit and vegetables companies

1. Enza Zaden

Enza Zaden is a Dutch vegetable breeder with strong margins, which increased further in 2020, as % OPEX decreased caused by the effects of the pandemic: online activities have substantially lowered costs for traveling, stakeholder management, and demonstration days.

2. Rijk Zwaan

The same as Enza Zaden Rijk Zwaan is a top-10 global vegetable seed breeder reporting strong margins year-on-year following their established overall market position.

3. Scelta Frozen

Scelta Frozen is focused on the production of frozen battered vegetables (primarily mushrooms and onion rings). Despite the company’s dependence on QSR and foodservice, Scelta Frozen performed remarkably well in 2020.

4. Frutas Bollo

Frutas Bollo is a Spanish company focused on the production and trade of high-end citrus and melons. The company started to trade more with China in 2019 and Brazil in 2020.

5. Llusar

Llusar is a Spanish citrus trading company. Llusar gains from operating in a more exclusive fruit & vegetable segment, resulting in good year-on-year results.

We looked at the most profitable fruit and vegetables companies of 2020 in our report by comparing the average EBIT profit margins in the years 2015-2020. Many profited from their focus on the high-end segment.

Table high profitable

Fruit and Vegetable industry: growth through health consciousness

Prior to the pandemic, the fruit and vegetables market was already showing significant growth as increased consciousness around health stimulated fruit & vegetables consumption. As the pandemic has made people even more concerned about their health, the fruit and vegetables market again experienced significant consumption driven growth in 2020.

However, with national lockdowns having slowed or stopped the flow of materials and goods, the pandemic has posed significant challenges for supply chains. Already present problems in the supply chain, such as increased complexity and compliance, were accelerated and enlarged in the fruit and vegetables industry.

This intensifies competition, fuels consolidation and will lead to a shake-out. It will be interesting to see how this shift dynamic is affected by consolidation by existing players and entrance of large conglomerates from outside the industry.

Want to learn more about the latest trends and developments within the fruit and vegetables industry? Download our latest trend report via the button below. 

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