Generic carrots

Carrots were Switzerland's favourite vegetable in 2016

Vegetable consumption in Switzerland has fallen for the first time in several years, with a survey revealing that Swiss consumers eat too little fruit and veg.

Per capita consumption of fresh produce fell by around 1.5kg year on year, settling at 83.5kg in 2016, the Union of Swiss Vegetable Producers (VSGP) reported.

The national food survey, conducted by Switzerland’s Food Safety and Veterinary Office also revealed that consumption falls below recommended guidelines.

Despite this trend, the Swiss are avid consumers of carrots, according to the study – with the vegetable topping the list of Switzerland’s favourite fresh produce for the second year running.

Tomatoes took second place, followed by peppers, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, melons, onions and courgettes. If cherry tomatoes are included in the tomato category, however, the fruit would top the list ahead of carrots.

Part of the reason for the overall fall in consumption could be the country’s difficult growing season last year, according to the VSGP, with adverse weather affecting yields.

A warm winter followed by a summery April boosted the quality of produce in the spring but a cold snap with frosts in May led to crop losses and harvesting delays.

Rain and low temperatures in the summer led to low overall crop volumes and a warm September was followed by an abrupt drop in temperatures towards the end of the season.

The VSGP said it is hoping for a better season this year with stable weather and strong yields “to boost per capita consumption”.