The French will have noticed when they went shopping: the price of fruit and vegetables has increased. During containment and after containment. This increase was perfectly measured by the consumer association Rural Families, which published at the end of July its Observatory of prices of fresh fruits and vegetables, of which it was the 14th edition.
This study on prices in 2020 concerns a basket of 8 fruits and 8 fresh, conventional and organic vegetables, in 4 sales areas. 75 price surveys were carried out from May 30 to June 12, by a team of 46 “consumption watchers” in 26 departments. The watchmen visited four different sales areas: hypermarkets and supermarkets, establishments with a predominantly own brand (EDMP, hard discount type), markets and specialized organic stores.
+ 17% for fruits, + 4% for vegetables
This study, assures the association “allows each family, whatever its budget, to have the right keys to reading and to make informed choices” “In this very special year, confinement (lack of manpower, higher transport costs, less abundant foreign production) and the weather conditions for certain products can explain certain increases. These remain nevertheless very important for consumers without being able to ensure, moreover, a better remuneration of the producers ” , estimates Rural families. The association has measured that in one year, the price of fruit has increased by + 17% for conventional and + 6% for organic, that of vegetables by + 4% for conventional and +1% for organic. For example, between June 2019 and June 2020, the price of a basket including 1 kg (or piece for the melon) of each fruit went from € 30.26 to € 35.36 in conventional, and from € 56.21 at € 59.61 for organic.
Between June 2019 and June 2020, the price of a basket including 1 kg (or piece for the salad) of each vegetable (or piece for the salad) went from € 20.46 to € 21.34 in conventional and from 36 , 71 € to 37 € in organic. Aubergine prices recorded the strongest increases: + 44% organic and + 16% conventional. Tomatoes, the vegetable most consumed by the French, are also hit hard by these increases: + 14% organic and + 12% conventional. Pepper climbs to the third step of the podium: + 13% organic and + 9% conventional.
The association estimates that if we want to respect the National Health Nutrition Plan (PNNS) which made famous the slogan “eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day”, this represents between 12 and 21% of a monthly net minimum wage for a family of four.
Health recommendation difficult to follow
“In June 2020, to eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day and per person (from our basket), a family of 2 adults and 2 children had to spend between € 144 and € 259”, specifies the association. The price of a basket of the same fruits and vegetables thus varies from € 52.31 to € 65.66 depending on whether it is bought in an EDMP, in supermarkets or on a market. “In the light of these figures, Rural families can only understand but also be alarmed by the observation revealed in 2016 by Credoc (Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions), indicating that only 25% of French people had consumed at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day in 2016, against 31% in 2010. It was therefore, in 2016, only a quarter of the population who ate in accordance with public health objectives “, emphasizes association. The health crisis will therefore not allow this percentage to increase …
Rural families also wants to be a force of proposal and teaches post-Covid-19 crisis on the consumption of fruits and vegetables. First wish of the association: stop overwrapping. “Overpacking rhymes with polluting more and paying more…”, she recalls before giving a telling example with a batch of 4 apples displayed at 1.99 €. “It can give the impression of being at the same price as the neighboring bulk apples, displayed at 1.99 € / kg. However, this is not the case! The lot often weighs less than 1 kg, and finally, it costs 2.49 € / kg for a batch of 800 g, ie 25% more expensive! ” calculates the association. Unstoppable.
Consuming French is not more expensive
Second lesson that Rural Families draws from its Observatory: consuming French does not necessarily cost more. “Consuming French means choosing availability and seasonality without necessarily paying more”. “The figures from Credoc, post-containment, show that for 75% of consumers, origin is a determining criterion. Also, it is important to underline on the one hand that French fruits and vegetables made it possible to fill the shelves during confinement and that this was not the case with their foreign counterparts “, underlines the association, which notes that” the French fruits of [son] panel are on average cheaper than their foreign counterparts (-1.25%). As for vegetables, they are on average only 1.65% more expensive. “