Fruit and vegetables account for 14.3% of the total grocery spend in Ireland, Bord Bia says.

Quoting figures from Kantar Worldpanel, Mike Neary, Horticulture Division in Bord Bia, says that while the value of the fresh produce market declined when compared with the previous year, the volume purchased increased.

The total value of the fresh fruit and vegetables was measured at €1,221m. This was 0.2% lower than the year to March 2014 however, for the same period volume was up by over 7%.

“There is evidence of shoppers taking advantage of lower average prices at the shop fixture, with the annual purchase frequency, up by 3% to over 154 times per year. Also an increase of 3.6% in the volume purchased per trip contributing to the volume growth,” he said.

Neary also says that the average price/kg recorded was back by over 7%, which evidently encouraged increased purchase activity.

The fresh produce category includes vegetables and fruit and potatoes, which all saw mixed performance over the period in question, he says.

He said that the value of vegetables declined by 0.3%, but had a volume increase of 6%. Neary also said that the fruit category performed robustly, recording both value and volume increases.

“The potato category recorded the most change over the period, with value back by 16%, which was compensated somewhat by a volume increase of 13%,” Neary said.