Brits are creating the highest demand for fruit and vegetables this century

Healthy-minded Brits are creating the biggest demand for fruit and vegetables this century, latest sales data can reveal.

Since the first lockdown started last year, stay-at-home Brits with more time on their hands have been able to spend more time at home cooking.

The trend has been noticed at Tesco stores across the UK, many of which are seeing record-breaking weekly demand for healthy vegetables, fruit and salad.

Among the most popular being bought are:

  • Maris Piper potatoes – up by 60 per cent on a year ago
  • Limes – also up by 60 per cent
  • Aubergines – up 50 per cent
  • Butternut squash – up 50 per cent
  • Leeks – up 40 per cent
  • Red onions – up 30 per cent
  • Apples – up by 10 per cent

Tesco Produce Category Buying Manager Emma Richards said:

Shoppers are buying more vegetablesfruit and salad than at any point in the last 20 years as a result of having more time on their hands to cook but also in order to eat more healthily during these challenging times.

“In particular we are seeing extremely strong demand for UK-grown vegetables used in roasts, stews and soups so it looks as if many people are going back to old family recipes or digging out cookery books now they have more time at home.

“Chestnut mushrooms, which are high in Vitamin D, have also seen a major increase in popularity over the last 12 months and fruit such as apples, pears, and berries have all seen record growth in the last year.”

Out of all vegetables one that is seeing the highest growth of all is the Maris Piper potato which was already extremely popular but has seen demand soar in the last year.

Branston, one of the UK’s biggest potato suppliers, based in Lincs, say that there has been a shift towards family warmer meal occasions with roast dinners in particular very popular right now.

Branston Marketing Director Lucia Washbrook said:

Family meal occasions are playing a key role in the pandemic with people spending more time together as “working from home” has become the new norm.”

Apples, traditionally one of the most popular of all fruit, have been even more in demand in the last year.

Leading UK fresh produce supplier, Richard Hochfeld, based in Kent, say they have seen an increase of around 25 per cent in their supply of apples to Tesco in the last year, which works out at around an extra 100 million apples.

Richard Hochfeld Managing Director of Apples and Pears Chris Guindi said:

“Shopping habits have changed in the last year and people buy more but shop less frequently.

“As a result shoppers want their produce to last longer in the home. Apples have amazing storage capability which has helped increase their popularity.

Additionally, we believe that everyone was trying to eat more healthily and everyone knows the old adage about ‘an apple a day keeping the doctor away!”

The extra lockdown home time has also seen a huge increase in people baking with demand at Tesco for loaf tins up by more than 100 per cent and sales of baking tins in general up by more than 60 per cent.


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