Spanish consumers bought 860,000 tonnes of oranges in 2016, making them the most popular fruit in Spain. Although consumption fell by 6 per cent last year, they were still well ahead of the second ranked fruit, bananas, which at 533,000 tonnes registered a 5.7 per cent increase in consumption.
Apples were in third place with 477,000 tonnes, a 5 per cent fall on the previous year.
“Overall, the market is fairly stable with fluctuations between one product or another. If the consumption of one fruit goes up, another goes down,” said Pere Prats, vice president of the Mercabarna Fruit and Vegetables Wholesalers’ Guild.
Strawberries are the fruit that saw the biggest increase in consumption last year, rising 17 per cent from 110,000 tonnes in 2015 to 129,000 tonnes in 2016.
“Last season we had a very good quality crop and this translated into increased sales,” Prat said. He noted that stable pricing and the introduction of new, improved varieties were also helping to grow the category.
Watermelons, melons, mandarins, pears, peaches and kiwifruit completed the top ten, Fepex said.
Sales of fruit have decreased by 7 per cent in the past six years, from 4.695m tonnes in 2010 to 4.369m tonnes in 2016.
However, Prats noted that actual consumption levels may not have fallen but instead people have learnt to manage food waste better due to the crisis.
The figures also show the growing trend towards imported fruit. Spain imported 1.6m tonnes of fruit in 2016 compared with 1.2m tonnes in 2012.