Updates about the Horticulture Wales project, along with industry news and opinion.

Market Analysis: Fruit And Veg Consumption In Western Europe

14 April 2015

Consumers coveting convenience and a resurgence in healthy eating offer reasons to be optimistic for fresh fruit and vegetable sales, according to new research.

Data published by Euromonitor International reveals that while per-capita consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables throughout western Europe has fallen over the past five years, value-added convenience products such as fresh-cut fruit and fruit snacks have both seen sales increase by around 20% over the same period.

The region accounts for around 8% of the global fruit market and just under 6% of the world’s veg sector. Interestingly, according to the research fresh meat consumption has fallen in western Europe whereas organic fresh produce has seen something of a surge in popularity. Sales of organic fruit account for 15% of the total UK market, with organic veg commanding a 10% share in both the UK and Spain.

Fresh Fruit

The total volume of fresh fruit sold throughout western Europe during the last year was more than 34 million tonnes, with oranges and soft citrus accounting for more than 20% of the overall market.

Blueberries are the stand-out performer over the period 2009-14 with an annual growth rate of nearly 6%, while other fruit categories achieving growth include:

  • Cherries (2.2%)
  • Bananas (1.8%)
  • Strawberries (1.5%)
  • Peaches (0.6%)
  • Nectarines (0.6%)
  • Grapes (0.2%)

On the flip side, amongst the fruit categories that have seen volumes fall over the past five years include pears and quinces (-1.8%), apples (-0.9%), and soft citrus (-0.7%).

Fresh Vegetables

In terms of fresh vegetables, just over 36 million tonnes were sold in the region during 2014, with tomatoes accounting for nearly a third (31%) of this total. Overall growth in the fresh vegetable category has been marginal during the past five years. However, there has been a 0.2% annual decrease in the size of the onion market during the same period.

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