Fresh produce consumption is on the increase in Europe, bringing to an end several years of consumption stagnation, Freshfel Europe's latest Consumption Monitor has found.
The 2020 edition of the report, which analyses fresh fruit and vegetables production, trade and consumption trends in the EU-28, found that fruit and vegetable consumption rose by 4% in 2018, compared to the previous year.
Europeans consume 363.8 grams of fresh fruit and vegetables per day, on average, which while below the WHO recommended minimum daily consumption of 400g, is still 5.1% higher than the previous five years recorded by the report (2013-2017).
Fresh fruit consumption is up 9.5% to 211.8g per capita per day, however vegetable consumption has dropped slightly, to 151.9g per capita per day.
According to Freshfel Europe, the increase in consumption has coincided with increased sector efforts to raise awareness of the importance of fresh produce consumption.
“The findings of Freshfel Europe’s 2020 Consumption Monitor are highly encouraging and clearly illustrate that the sector’s heightened efforts to boost consumption above the WHO recommended minimum of 400g per capita per day are being paid off," commented Freshfel Europe general delegate Philippe Binard. "While we will continue to observe the stability of this recovery, we need to investigate this new discrepancy between fruit and vegetable consumption."
This year, alongside its longstanding online #FruitVeg4You campaign, and the EU-funded '400g Challenge', Freshfel Europe is launching #SpeakUp4FruitVeg, to encourage support for the sector by EU policy-makers and boost consumption during the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021.
“The fresh fruit and vegetable sector must capitalise on 2021 being the UN International Year of Fruits and Vegetables," Binard added. "Continued reinforcement of the important role of fresh produce in a balanced healthy and sustainable diet is essential to maintain and boost this latest positive consumption trend."
The 143-page Freshfel Europe 2020 Consumption Monitor is available via the Freshfel Europe website, www.freshfel.org.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.