Brits lead rest of Europe in getting their ‘five a day’ fruit and veg

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UK consumers eat more fruit and vegetables than those in Europe with one in five Brits consuming at least five portions on a daily basis, new research has suggested.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Fresh Foods – which surveyed more than 29,000 online shoppers in 58 countries – found that more than one in five (22%) had at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day compared to about one in twelve (8%) across Europe.

Irish buyers ranked second in the table with 18% achieving their five a day, while the Swiss came third with 14% eating the UK-recommended amount. However, other nationalities struggled. Only 1% of Polish and Portuguese shoppers managed to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, while Croatians failed to reach the target altogether.

“The fact that the UK is far ahead of Europe suggests the successful impact the Department of Health’s ‘5 a day’ programme has had on the British public over the last decade,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight. “The global average is just 10% whilst in Germany, which has a similar ‘5 am Tag’ initiative, it’s a meagre 2%.”

“The fact that the UK is far ahead of Europe suggests the successful impact the Department of Health’s ‘5 a day’ programme has had on the British public over the last decade” - Mike Watkins, Nielsen

The survey also showed that UK consumers preferred to buy their fruit and vegetables from larger stores with eight in 10 (81%) buying them from supermarkets or hypermarkets, compared to more than half of Europeans (53%).

Europeans and North Americans cited good value for the money and convenience as the most important factors in choosing a retailer for fresh foods, while freshness was the primary concern of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa respondents.

“The market for fresh food sales in the UK – as it is in Holland, Ireland and Israel – is dominated by large retailers over smaller specialist stores and markets,” Watkins added.

“These retailers have been very adept at understanding how important freshness is in the eyes of consumers, and providing an in-store experience, good customer service and competitive pricing that encourages shoppers to buy fresh foods.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • Seriously...

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  • And yet GB is ranked #1 for obesity in Europe

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  • And yet this from Mintel:
    A recent report by the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) published in January 2012 Fruit and vegetable consumption in Europe – do Europeans get enough?, has revealed that most consumers fail to reach fresh produce intake levels (excluding juices) recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) of 400g per day.
    The review found that fruit and vegetable intake varied between European regions, age groups and socio-economic blocks and placed UK consumers at the bottom end of the scale (258g compared to a European average of 386g).

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  • Are the British making that mistake (as Sainsbury's did) of thinking that potatoes count?

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