European produce consumption “stagnating”, Freshfel report shows
March 27, 2013

The latest Freshfel Consumption Monitor report shows European fruit and vegetable fell 3% on the preceeding five-year average in 2011.

Consumption actually rose slightly by 2% for vegetables and 3% for fruit from 2010 to 2011, but was still much lower than it was in 2006.

Of the 27 European Union member states, just 10 registered a rise in fruit consumption over the period, while the number of countries was higher for vegetables consumption at 14.

Notable rises were seen in the vegetable eating habits in Baltic countries, with Lithuania’s per capita consumption rising by more than 45%, Estonia and Latvia were above the 10% growth mark, and Poland’s increase in consumption was above 5%.

Austria, Luxembourg, Ireland, Romania, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden and Malta also notched increases in their veggie intakes.

No such dramatic rises were seen in fruit consumption with only Austria achieving above 10% growth and the Netherlands falling just short of that growth mark.

More fruit per capita was also purchased in Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Ireland, Slovakia, Romania, Denmark and Sweden.

Belgium and Hungary recorded the biggest drops in fruit consumption but were still among the 10 member states whose fruit and vegetable intakes were above the World Health Organization’s (WHO) minimum recommendations of 400 grams per day.

The Czechs and the Bulgarians had the lowest per capita produce intake while the Greeks and Romanians had the highest by far.

Out of the European Union’s five largest economies – Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and Spain – only the latter had consumption levels that met the minimum recommendations, right on the cusp after recording one of Europe’s biggest drops in produce intakes over the period.