MADRID – The amount of fresh fruit and vegetables that Spaniards eat at home continues to fall sharply. From January to August 2022, this was about 13% less than in the same period the year before. That is equivalent to 4.7 million kilos of fruit and vegetables.
According to the latest data from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, a total of €8.7 billion was spent on fresh fruit and vegetables for home consumption during that period. That is 4% less than last year.
The downward trend of the past year applies to all products: vegetables, fruit and potatoes. People ate 12% less fruit at home than in the same period last year. The total amount remained at 2.5 million kilos for home consumption. Expressed in money, this amounted to a 1% decrease in less spent on fruit. The decrease affected almost all types of fruit. However, grapes and mandarins, experienced an increase of 9% and 2% respectively.
The number of vegetables consumed decreased by 15% compared to last year. This translated into an 8% drop in euros spent on it. The total amount did not exceed 1.5 million kilos, worth about €3,278 million. Here, too, the decline was across the board: 12% fewer tomatoes were eaten at home, 12% less lettuce, 19% fewer bell peppers and 20% fewer onions. And the demand for potatoes has also fallen sharply by 13%. Spaniards ate a total of 964 million kilograms of potatoes during this period, worth €538 million.
Less consumption than before the pandemic
The decline is so strong that the numbers are even lower than in the pre-pandemic period. In 2019, 5.2 million kilos of fruit and vegetables were consumed at home by Spaniards from January to August, about 10% more than in the same period in 2022. According to FEPEX, the Spanish umbrella organisation for fruit and vegetable growers and – exporters, this confirms that the decrease is related to the end of the corona lockdowns. After all, people are no longer forced to eat at home.
Worry about unhealthy lifestyle
At the same time, there have been concerns for some time about the unhealthy lifestyle of Spaniards, especially concerning food and drink. Previous attempts by the Spanish government to get their compatriots to eat healthier have not had much success so far. Earlier this year, for example, the government’s plan to remove beer and wine from the well-known ‘menú del dia’ was scrapped after much criticism.