Japan registers fall in fruit consumption amidst high prices

Mon 17/08/2020 by Richard Wilkinson
Even though fruit is a significant snack globally, and even vegetables are popular in the Asia-Pacific region (57%), cheese is the most eaten snack in Europe (58%), bread/sandwiches in the Middle East (47%), ice cream in Latin America (63%) and potato/tortilla crisps in the US (63%).

The first half of 2020 saw fruit prices in Japan at their highest levels for a decade. The soaring prices have no doubt contributed to the drop in fruit consumption. Between January and June 2020, the average price of fruit in Japan was US$4.86/kg, compared with US$4.34/kg for the period since 2011, according to data from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. So, as demand has fallen, the average Japanese household spend on fruit has risen. Fruit consumption has dropped to 31.5kg per household, the second-lowest total since 2011 and 5.5% lower than the ten-year average. Fruit expenditure per household for the 6-month period was 5.7% above the ten-year average, reaching US$153.3, its highest level in a decade.

However, the two categories that bucked the trend are kiwifruit and banana. In the first six months of 2020, banana consumption in Japan was at its highest since 2012, reaching 9.88kg per household. Records were broken for kiwifruit consumption, with 1.23kg consumed per household. The remarkable performances of kiwi and banana have been ascribed to the effective promotional campaigns targeting these fruits.

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