The consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in Spanish households fell 4.8 per cent during the opening quarter of 2017, according to new data from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture's Food Consumption Panel, published by Fepex.
The statistics showed that fruit consumption fell 5.3 per cent, with vegetable consumption down 5.5 per cent and potato consumption falling 1.5 per cent.
Tomatoes, onions, peppers and lettuce were some of the vegetable categories enduring a drop in consumption, while the same applied to fruits such as oranges, bananas, apples, mandarins, strawberries, pears and kiwifruit.
While consumption volumes dropped, fresh produce spending actually grew 3.2 per cent for vegetables and 5.2 per cent for potatoes, although fruit spending declined by 0.6 per cent.
Fepex said that the continued decline in fresh produce consumption was "very worrying and also contradictory", given the fact fruit and vegetables are essential components of a healthy diet.
"For this reason, it is considered important to strengthen communication, not only in the educational field but also seeking to collaborate with the different administrations involved, mainly in the health field, as maintaining a healthy diet among the population contributes to the reduction of healthcare expenditure."