Fresh products takes up increasingly more shopping basket space; efficient cold distribution marks the difference in competitiveness.

How much fresh perishable products do we buy?

Cold Chains Perishable Food

To find out, we need to take a look at our shopping baskets. And take a look at the food items inside that basket. And then at the fresh perishable products. And on top of that, it seems like we’re buying more and more. Surveys and studies aside, if we were to ask any European household in 2022, they could confirm it.

Within the complex perishable goods supply chain, isothermal packaging plays a central role in the food industry (whether that’s a physical shop or e-commerce, a department store or retailer). In fact, it can mark the difference between a competitive business model and a model doomed to fail.

Fresh perishable products takes up 40% of our shopping baskets

Let’s start by calculating how much of Spaniards’ shopping baskets are taken up by fresh products. That is, how much of the basket is taken up by fruit, vegetables, meat and fresh fish, eggs and dairy products, etc., (and how much it affects the wallet).

Luckily, someone else has done the math’s for us. According to the exhaustive report by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food (MAPA) for 2021, 38.8% of Spaniards’ shopping baskets are made up of fresh items, representing 60% of their spending: around €2,000 a year per person (according to ALDI it is 1 out of every 3 euros of food spending).

A third of this amount is spent on fruit and vegetables, and a fourth on fresh meat; charcuterie and fish and seafood are at around 15%, while bread and eggs cost 6.6% and 2.7%, respectively.

The role of cold distribution of perishable goods

When we talk about shopping baskets, we inevitably think about the cost of living and CPI. And even more so in the inflationary context we find ourselves in, which produces increasingly alarming news for consumers and businesses alike. The increase compared to the previous year in this area is 13.8%.

It is therefore clear that, especially in the area of chilled and frozen foods, proper product preservation (i.e. maintaining the cold chain at an optimal level) is crucial when it comes to preventing substantial losses and maintaining competitive prices and minimally acceptable margins.

Breaking the cold chain is by no means the main cause of the price increases we are experiencing. But it is a factor that can be cheaply and easily addressed, if we know how to improve our storage, transport and distribution practices.

Isothermal packaging: a differentiating factor

From the farm until the last mile (the most complex stage), passing by the transport and the time spent in storage, the distribution centre and the fulfilment centre, isothermal packaging solutions for temperature-controlled transport allow us to optimise perishable product management and minimise losses, damages, returns and waste.

Have you ever calculated how the improper handling of perishable goods is financially affecting your accounts? Have you stopped to consider passive cold-based solutions that are highly flexible and require a modest investment?

This is without taking into account other issues related to recycling and sustainability, such as the zero waste concept, which are as equally worrisome (if not more so in the long term). We have no doubt reached a crossroads where we have to make some decisions before it is too late…