The rise of summer fruit changes the healthiest diet of households

Image taken in the Central Market, in the capital of Gran Canaria. / arcadio suarez

With the rise in prices, "the consumer is going to look for substitute products", perhaps "another type of dessert that in their eyes is cheaper" and that "may not coincide with the healthiest"

EFE Madrid

The sharp rise in food prices is changing the shopping basket of the vast majority of Spaniards, who continue to buy fruit, but perhaps not as much as they would like, due to the
rising prices of the much coveted watermelons, melons and peaches in the heat waver.

Already in the month of April, the increase in the price of some of these fruits was more than obvious, as indicated by data from the IRI consultancy, which observes an annual rise in the price of watermelon of 18.7% and melon of 3 .2% also compared to April 2021.

Fruit prices in general rose 10.3% in April and the ascent has been increasing.

"The spectacular rise in food prices -the highest in 28 years according to INE data- is already having effects on purchasing habits," sources from the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) have assured Efeagro.

They have explained that in a recent survey carried out by this association «62% of
consumers have already changed their purchasing habits, adapting them to their income« and that »one in five recognizes that they have stopped buying foods such as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables«.

In the case of fruits, with the rise in prices, "the consumer is going to look for substitute products", perhaps "another type of dessert that in their eyes is cheaper" and that "may not coincide with the healthiest ones".

The expert in the NielsenIQ retail channel, Ignacio Biedma, has assured Efeagro that "there is a transfer in the consumption of fruit towards other different families." The latest data from this consultant showed for the
first quarter of 2022 a drop in the volume of fruit sold of 4.6%.

"The consumer is looking at how to adjust the costs of their shopping basket", and if the watermelon or the peach are expensive, they will opt for others less from the summer season and at a lower price such as the banana or the apple, he has put as example.

In IRI they have indicated that the fresh fruit market "is facing a
historic upward trend in inflation« after »having overcome a pandemic, transport strike, adverse weather conditions and even the volcanic eruption of La Palma«.

what the farmer earns

The national head of fruit and vegetables of the agricultural association COAG, Andrés Góngora, has acknowledged that the prices of refreshing summer fruits "have been
not very accessible to the consumer«.

Until the end of May, the production of watermelon and melon has been short, around 50% less, due to the haze and the rains, and there was also less entry than usual from Senegal, but in June the yields have increased and, in his opinion, there should be a drop in prices.

"The farmer, who this year suffers a sharp increase in costs, received an average of 85 cents per kilo of watermelon in May and, this week, 18 cents/kg," he indicated before criticizing the distribution chains for maintaining price levels, which can "break the campaign" and make "consumption fall back".

Regarding the increase in the price of stone fruit, sources from the Spanish Federation of Associations of Exporting Producers of Fruit, Vegetables, Flowers and Live Plants (Fepex) have indicated that
"It is mainly attributable to the sharp drop in supply due to bad weather".

In Catalonia, Afrucat has estimated that nearly 70% of the productive potential of peaches and nectarines has been lost due to frost and hail; In Aragón, Fedefruta states that losses reach 90% for apricots, and between 60 and 70% for peaches and nectarines, and in Murcia, Apoexpa has calculated that they will harvest 20% less stone fruit.

The national average prices at origin of
watermelon and melon of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) were 49.49 cents/kg for watermelon in week 23 (from June 6 to 12, 2022) and 61.93 cents/kg for melon.

Much higher values ​​than in the same week of 2021 (20.79 and 32.17 cents, respectively)

The MAPA has noted that the average price at origin of
yellow peacheither in week 23 it was 95.20 cents/kg (71.71 cents/kg in the same period of 2021); the
white nectarineat 95.29 cents/kg (82.26 cents/kg), and the
plum at 64.35 cents/kg (63.36 cents/kg).

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