Brits bought less vegetables – but more fruit – in 2016/17 than in 2015 according to government data released yesterday.
The Family Food survey, taken from a sample of 4,641 UK households, revealed fresh and processed fruit purchases crept up to 1116 grams per person per week, compared to 1093 in 2015.
But vegetable purchases dropped by 22 grams, a 2 per cent fall, continuing a general trend of declining fruit and vegetable intake from 2006, when Brits bought 1,998 grams per person per week.
In the same year, we purchased 1,292 grams per person of fresh and processed fruit, 176 grams more compared to today's figures, roughly equivalent to a large apple.
Potatoes are the worst hit by the trend, with purchases falling by 8.8 per cent since 2013. One explanation could be the rise in eating out and takeaway consumption, rising by nearly 10 per cent since 2013.
Anna Taylor of the Food Foundation, said the trend called for a "transformation" of fruit and veg marketing, with the foundation launching their Veg Power Fund on May 3 in a bid to help kids eat better and assist parents deliver vegetables into their diet.
“The new data on vegetable purchases are worrying. Our vegetable purchases are at best flat-lining and are much lower than they should be, in spite of high levels of knowledge around 5 A Day,” said Taylor.
“They demonstrate the need for a transformation of the image of veg in the media and advertising which is exactly what the Veg Power Fund, which will be launched on 3rd May, will be aiming to achieve.”