Fruit Consumption in Europe

How many kilograms of fruit do Europeans eat every year?


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Map of the vegetable consumption in Europe.

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We recently looked at the vegetable consumption in Europe. Today, we’re going to look closer at the fruit consumption.
The WHO recommend adults to consume at least 400 grams of vegetables and fruits every day. The CDC recommends at least 1.5 cups of fruit per day. We already learnt that a daily intake of 240 grams of vegetables is recommended. Taking the recommendations of the WHO and CDC in mind, that would mean an estimated intake of 160 grams of fruit per day is recommended for adults. Per year this is 58.4 kg.

The vegetable consumption map showed a worrying picture where only a bit more than half of Europe consumed the recommended amount of vegetables. For fruit, there are only 4 countries that don’t meet the recommended intake: Latvia (46 kg), Lithuania (52 kg), Slovakia and Ukraine (53 kg) (Let’s give Bulgaria with 58 kg the benefit of the doubt here). The Netherlands had the lowest vegetable consumption in Europe, but fortunately the Dutch do consume a decent amount of fruit.

Just like the vegetable consumption, the highest fruit consumption can be found in the south east of Europe. Albanians consume a whopping 175 kg of fruit per year. Portugal (132 kg), Slovenia and Turkey (128 kg) also consume a large amount of fruit. Most of the biggest consumers of fruit can be found in the southern half of Europe, but Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium also consume a significant amount of fruit.

But how exactly does the FAO define fruits? It probably matches mostly with what you would consider a fruit. Juices and fried fruits are also included. However, there is one interesting exception. Melons and watermelons are not considered a fruit by the FAO, but a vegetable. Yes, the FAO considers melons and watermelons to be vegetables. This is the FAO’s explanation: “Although melons and watermelons are generally considered to be fruits, FAO groups them with vegetables because they are temporary crops”. Want to see the full list? Have a look here.

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