The consumption of fresh produce in Spain has decreased significantly in recent years. There are several reasons for this.
First of all, the eating habits of the population have changed. In addition, Spanish consumers are more likely to prefer processed and packaged foods. Finally, economic reasons also play a role.
Convenience rather than cooking with fresh products
One of the most prominent reasons is the modern lifestyle. As a result, many people prefer to opt for quick and prepared meals rather than cooking with fresh produce at home. In addition, the supply of packaged and processed foods in supermarkets has increased, which is a cause of the decline in fresh food consumption.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
The monthly food statistics of household food consumption show a significant decrease between November 2019 and the same month in 2023. For example, the annual consumption of fresh fruit has fallen by about 13 kilos from 91.27 kilos to 78.24 kilos. Spaniards also eat fewer fresh vegetables. Whereas four years ago the Spaniard ate an average of 77.47 kilos of vegetables per year, that has now dropped to 66.90 kilos. That means more than 10 kilos less per year per consumer.
Meat and fish
The decline is also notable in two other important fresh products within the Mediterranean diet, such as meat and fish. A Spaniard eats an average of 40.56 kilos of meat every year. That was 45.54 kilos in 2019. In short, almost 5 kilos less per year. Fish consumption has fallen by just over 4 kilos. In 2019, it was 22.73 kilos, but in November last year it was still 18.48 kilos per capita per year.
Promotion of fresh produce
In the meantime, there are all kinds of initiatives from different sectors to eat healthier. And to stimulate the consumption of local and fresh products. Government organisations, NGOs and companies in the food sector are making consumers aware of the benefits of a balanced diet and the consumption of fresh food.
Also read: How high prices affect the diet of Spaniards