Fresh Direct Expects a Christmas of the Traditional and the Innovative

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 Fresh Direct, the UK’s leading foodservice provider of fresh produce, is predicting that innovation will help drive sales of traditional vegetables this Christmas.  


Traditional vegetables continue to perform well, with volumes up year on year, pointing to some more normality returning to Christmas trading. However, the growth in prepared products is more spectacular, up by around 20% as the festive period comes closer and pressures on kitchens increase, with fewer and less skilled staff available.  


The company is seeing greater sales of specialist ingredients including quince, bergamot orange, and Douglas Forest Fir, as venues seek different flavour profiles and menu standout. These are joining twists on popular veg with coloured varieties, for example purple heritage and rainbow carrots, proving particularly popular this year, along with baby vegetables, such as baby turnips. 


This year, Fresh Direct’s M&J Fresh Seafood is seeing more twists on the traditional, for example popular classics like smoked salmon are getting a festive makeover with flavours such as orange and fennel pollen elevating the more traditional variety; and Loch Reared Trout is proving popular with flavours, including Beetroot and Dill and Kedgeree Spiced Trout, giving a new flavour combination to this popular fish. 

Ian Nottage, Head of Food Development, Fresh Direct, said: “Christmas isn’t just about carrots and sprouts, there are around 250 different prepared fruit and veg lines available as customers look for opportunities to create menu standout. 


“Christmas favourites will always dominate, but we’re also seeing a huge increase in prepared ranges with whole prepared Butternut Squash, Prepared Swede, quartered parsnip and diced potato seeing some of the greatest growth.”