EU Fruit And Vegetable Consumption Saw Growth Of 2.19% In 2021: Freshfel Europe

By Dayeeta Das
Share this article
EU Fruit And Vegetable Consumption Saw Growth Of 2.19% In 2021: Freshfel Europe

Average fruit and vegetable consumption in the EU grew to 364.58 grams per day per capita in 2021, registering a 2.19% increase on 2020 and 1.27% above the average of the previous five years, the latest data from Freshfel Europe’s Consumption Monitor showed.

However, the figure is almost 10% below the minimum WHO recommended amount of 400 grams per day per capita

The EU-27 fresh produce market size reached 74,354,475 tonnes in 2021, growing in line with the trend of lifestyle changes and concern for the environment that started in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Freshfel noted that fruit and vegetable consumption is under pressure in Europe because of the economic crisis following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in 2022, impacting consumer purchasing power and limiting their expenditure on food.

Philippe Binard, general delegate of Freshfel Europe commented, "In times of crisis, consumers tend to move towards a less healthy diet, which is perceived to be more energy satisfactory and a cheaper food option than fruit and vegetables."


"The 2022 and early 2023 trends clearly indicate that the post-pandemic consumption growth has been lost, as consumption has declined by more than 10% in many cases,” Binard added.

Read More: Top 10 European Countries By Fruit And Vegetable Consumption

Consumption Trends

The study also revealed that only a few countries in the EU reached the recommended goal of including at least 400 grams of fresh fruit and vegetables per day per capita.

Freshfel Europe believes there can be no compromise on the urgency of implementing measures needed to address the low consumption of fruit and vegetables.


Elsewhere, a 2019 Eurostat survey showed that 33% of EU consumers do not consume any portion of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, and another 55% do not reach the recommended five portions per day.

In addition, younger generations and lower-income households reflect the lowest consumption rates.

Binard commented, "The younger generations are the consumers of tomorrow, and more efforts must be made to educate and introduce young people to the versatility and qualities of fresh fruits and vegetables."

Despite being an affordable food option and consumers moving towards a plant-based diet, prevailing misperceptions create obstacles in boosting fruit and vegetable consumption.


Freshfel Europe President Salvo Laudani explained, "We need to counter the misperception that fruits and vegetables are expensive. The sector needs to reinforce its message to demonstrate that it operates within a sustainable food systems format to deliver affordable, nutritional and healthy products in order to move consumers towards a plant diet."

Adding one piece of fruit or vegetables to the daily diet of European consumers would boost the European market size by almost 20%, or 15 million tonnes.

For consumers, a healthy diet that reaches the minimum recommendation remains affordable and can be achieved for less than €2 a day.

© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Dayeeta Das. For more fresh-produce news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.