While government figures show that fruit consumption has risen by 3.8% since the launch of the 5-a-day campaign in 2000, consumption of vegetables has declined by 2.1%, chiefly because they take too much time to prepare, claims IGD.
Department of Health statistics showed that more than a third of people who did not eat vegetables said this was because they involved “too much effort”, said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.
While consumption of citrus fruits had increased by nearly 20% since 2001, salad consumption had slumped by 3%, mushrooms
were down 5% and cabbages were sharply down.
Although efforts had been made to make vegetables more convenient through snack packs and chopped, shredded and peeled varieties at most supermarkets, fruit had proved easier to fit into modern lifestyles, she said.
“Shoppers want convenient foods. What people want is to be able to grab something and eat on the go,” Denney-Finch added.