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Freshfel Europe calls on sector to boost consumption with minimum health recommendation

Freshfel Europe’s consumption monitor indicates that fruit and vegetable consumption in the EU has dropped to 349.19 g/capita/day, prompting Freshfel Europe to urge the sector to build on the environmental, […]
Tue 21/12/2021 by Richard Wilkinson
Portait of Stephan Weist, president of Freshfel Europe. Copyright: Freshfel Europe.
Stephan Weist, president of Freshfel Europe

Freshfel Europe’s consumption monitor indicates that fruit and vegetable consumption in the EU has dropped to 349.19 g/capita/day, prompting Freshfel Europe to urge the sector to build on the environmental, climate, and health benefits of a plant-based diet throughout 2022, with the goal of 400 g/capita/day or half a plate with each meal. The pandemic has significantly changed the lifestyle of Europeans, in addition to increasing their sympathy towards environmental causes and climate change. 

Stephan Weist, president of Freshfel Europe, said: 

“The fresh produce sector has many reasons to be optimistic considering the assets of fresh fruit and vegetables. We also need to be ambitious. Every additional 10 g consumed by a European per day, would lead at the end of the year a market size boosted by 1.8m tons. Adding one piece of fruit or vegetables and raising the average consumption over the 400 g recommended by the WHO would mean the need to supply almost 15m tons more per year.”

The Freshfel Europe experts also reviewed the latest trends in 12 EU Member States as well as in the UK. While each market has its own specifics, it was apparent that there are many commonalities regarding the expectations of European consumers. The most efficient strategy to boost consumption would focus on consumers with less prevalence towards healthier food rather than preaching to the converted. The youngest generation, including in particular the millennials should be in the spotlight of priorities. Setting consumption targets such as 5 a day like campaign, eating in colour, having half of the plate with fruit and vegetables are important concept to help consumers to take up the challenge of eating at least 400 g per day. 

Philippe Binard, general delegate of Freshfel Europe, said: 

“The findings from local studies agree that consumers across Europe care for taste, freshness, vitamins and minerals, added value, convenience and seasonality. Aspiration towards sustainability is only indirectly transpiring from their food choice while looking for local or organic products.”

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