Freshfel Consumption Monitor gives room for careful optimism with rising figures for fruit & vegetable consumption
Freshfel Europe publishes its latest edition of the Freshfel Consumption Monitor which analyses the production, trade and consumption trends for fresh fruit and vegetables in the EU-28. The analysis of the latest available data (up to 2014) shows that consumption in the EU-28 stands at 353 gram of fresh fruit and vegetables per capita per day. It represents an increase of 1.6% compared to 2013 and a slight 0.3% increase compared to the last five years (2009-2013). This is the second year that the consumption is increasing slightly, which is a hopeful sign of recovery of consumption for the fresh fruit and vegetables sector.
EU citizens consumed in 2014 on average 192 grams of fruit and 161 grams of vegetables each day. Fruit consumption is more on the rise than vegetable consumption. The fruit consumption has increased by 1.2% compared with 2013, which is also an increase of 1.2% compared with the average of the previous five years (2009-2013). The vegetable consumption increased by 2% compared with 2013 but shows a small decrease of 0.7% compared with the average of the previous five years (2009-2013).
While aggregate consumption still remains below the minimum recommendations of 400 grams by the WHO, overall it is a positive sign that consumption has increased again slightly, which hopefully will continue in the future. To build on this positive development, authorities, as well as the sector, should continue to further build on the factors that are leading to improve the consumption trends in the society.
Philippe Binard, General Delegate of Freshfel, commented: “The findings of the Freshfel Monitor confirm our general perception that the fresh fruit and vegetables consumption is recovering slightly from the negative trends experienced since the turn of the century. Fruit and vegetables are becoming again more popular to European consumers. The sector is managing to better position fresh produce within the changing lifestyle environment of consumers while building the growth on its multiples assets of fresh produce. Besides the quality and diversity of fresh produce, the sector can also rely new drivers such as the greater focus of consumers on healthy diet, the search for freshness as well as increased attention for veggie-inspired lifestyles. These are some of the factors driving this trend that seems to be further consolidating in 2015 and 2016.”
According to Freshfel, the trends demonstrate the long term efficiency of activities to promote the fruit and vegetable category to consumers through public or private money. It shows the relevance and the return on investment of European policies gearing at increasing consumption. The reinforced budget for promotion and information of agricultural products but also the increased resources for educational activities within school fruit and vegetables scheme start to deliver results. Other policies that stimulate healthier choices should be further encouraged, including namely simplified rules in regard to health and nutrition claims for fruit and vegetables to better assist the sector to take advantages of the policy.
To further build on this positive trend, Freshfel Europe together with COPA COGECA, launched a social media campaign #FruitVeg4You to raise awareness of the category and to help stimulate the consumption. Besides, on the 19th and 20th of June, Freshfel will join forces with PROFEL on the occasion of its Annual event in Brussels to better explore future opportunity for the category and to reinforce the position of fruit and vegetables in European policy.
Freshfel Members receive the report free of charge, while non-members can purchase it at a rate of 500 EUR. The document includes the following sections:
- Total gross supply of fruit and vegetables in the EU28 including trends in production, exports and imports of fruit and vegetables (covering 2008-2013)
- A comparative review of consumption trends across the EU28 (covering 2008-2013)
- A review of the total net supply, trends in production exports and imports of fruit and vegetables in the 28 member states of the EU (covering 2008-2013)
It should be noted in general that the Consumption Monitor shows general tendencies quite reliably, but should not be seen as a source of hard consumption facts. More information on this can also be obtained from the Freshfel Secretariat.