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

Market Analysis: Fresh Produce Consumption Trends

01 May 2014

Over recent weeks, a raft of official statistics and surveys monitoring the latest levels of fruit and vegetable consumption have been published – with the majority trending downwards. Here we take a look at three of these reports…

Freshfel Consumption Monitor


Fruit Bowl 2 (500px * 333px)Freshfel, the European Fresh Produce Association, has unveiled the latest edition of its Consumption Monitor, which analyses production, trade, and consumption statistics across the European Union.

Across the continent, fruit and vegetable consumption in 2012 decreased by 8.2% on the previous year, and was 8.7% down on the 2007-2011 average. Fruit consumption dropped considerably more than vegetables, both year-on-year (2012 consumption of the former fell 11.8% compared to 5.3%) and against the 2007-2011 average (fruit 14.2% vegetables 4%).

Fruit and veg production across the EU also fell (down 12% and 6% respectively), however exports continued to strengthen. Fruit exports in 2012 were up 17% on the previous year – and 39% up on the 2007-2011 average – while vegetable exports in 2012 increased 8% on 2011 figures, meaning they too are up 20% compared to the five-year average.

DEFRA Food Statistics Pocketbook


On a similar theme, last month DEFRA published an update to its Food Statistics Pocketbook 2013, the UK Government’s annual round-up of statistics covering the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the food we eat.

The figures show that UK household purchases of fruit and veg during 2012 fell 2.1% on the previous year. On average, people purchased 3.9 portions of fruit and veg a day. In the year to June 2013, fruit and veg prices increased by 7.5% and 5.2% respectively, the largest increases in the entire food and drink sector. As a result, fruit and veg in the UK now costs almost a fifth higher (19%) than the EU average.

Aviva Health Check UK Report


One final publication of interest was research commissioned by the insurance provider Aviva. Its inaugural Health Check UK Report revealed that a quarter of adults in the UK ‘do not eat a single piece of fruit or veg a day’, with only 20% meeting the recommended target of five portions a day.

As a comparison, 28% of British people have at least five cups of tea or coffee a day; more than a third (34%) eat at least one portion of chocolate or crisps every day; with a quarter consuming cakes, biscuits, or pastries daily.

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