Food numbers in Spain in 2012. Impact of the Crisis

We buy mostly in supermarkets

Every year the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment publishes a report on eating habits in Spain. You can access the full report for 2012 on the ministry's website, but I have considered it interesting to dedicate a post to comment on the data in that report because they include very interesting information on what we eat, how much we spend on food, etc ...

The big figures are that we spend approximately 10% of GDP on food, somewhat less than in 2011. That we now eat more at home and less outside, almost a direct consequence of unemployment, I think, and that we buy mostly in supermarkets, but curiously for fresh food, we mostly prefer traditional stores. But we are going to reel off the data a little more.

How we spend money on food

In 2012, 100,678 million Euros were spent in Spain. To help you with the figure, the GDP of Spain in 2012 was 1.4 billion euros, so that spending on food represents almost 10% (somewhat less). Not bad. Of those 100,000 million, 67% we spend on food at home, and the remaining 33% outside the home, a reduction of 4% compared to 2011. It is reasonable to think that the reason is the level of unemployment we have. Fewer workers would mean fewer menus of the day. The funny thing is that food at home has only increased by 0.2%, what reasons can you think of? Global consumption of food has been falling since 2010, however consumption only in households (that 67%) has been rising since 2009, something that also fits with the evolution of unemployment.

Household consumption increases since 2009

What kind of food do we eat

The great "beneficiaries" of the crisis are, without a doubt, fresh products (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs and milk) which have been increasing since 2008, but which still account for less than half of consumption total food.

Within fresh products, money goes to us above all in meat (22%) and fish (13%), followed by fruits (9%), dairy (8.7%) and vegetables (7.7%). However, in volume (tons of products) it is fruits and vegetables that gain with an aggregate consumption of almost 30% of the total. This is in line with the fact that meat and fish are more expensive than vegetables.

Percentages of Fresh Food Vs Rest of Food

Something striking is that meat consumption has increased slightly (0.8%) but not in the way we might expect. The meats that have increased their consumption the most are the so-called "other meats" with 9.2% and among them turkey, with 22%. Beef and sheep meats have fallen 2.6 and 9.2% respectively, while pork remains almost the same, with just a 0.3% drop. Again, all these data would be consistent with a crisis situation, in which more expensive meats are abandoned in favor of cheaper ones.

As for fish, its total consumption has fallen in all its forms and varieties by 1.2% on average.

The consumption of fruits has risen 2.7% with a significant rise in the consumption of watermelon (15%) and strawberries (13%). By the way, do you know that 10 fruits represent almost 80% of the fruits we consume? (without looking at the clear report). Fresh vegetables have fallen slightly, just 0.5% with an increase in potatoes and carrots of 3% in both.

We also consume less olive oil, although the extra virgin has risen and less milk.

Where do we buy food?

As I anticipated at the beginning, we buy more in supermarkets or hypermarkets, but for fresh products we mostly prefer traditional stores, which include markets, bakeries, or frozen food stores. Those that seem to have suffered the most from the impact of the crisis are traditional stores, compared to the rest. I suppose that some have had to close as well and have not been able to compete in price with the big ones.

The factor that weighs the most when choosing an establishment is ... you guess? Exactly, the price (62%). Followed by quality (51%). The third most important factor is proximity (51%). Again, the trend has changed compared to 2011, where we were more concerned with quality than price.

Do we buy online? Well yes, and more and more. While in 2004 only 2.7% had ever bought products online, in 2012 it is already 9.5%. The figure still seems low to me, but when buying food, and especially fresh food, it seems that we still need to "feel" the product. Even so, the trend is increasing.

As for eating out, the restaurant sector has suffered a drop of 4% compared to 2011, with an average bill of almost € 5. If this value seems low to you, it is because there are also bar menus such as sandwiches and sandwiches. Since 2009 the sector has fallen by 12.5%. The report also contains a series of recommendations for restoration, such as adapting the offer, incorporating versatility in the premises, improving processes and grouping into franchises, associations, etc ...

To carry out

Of all these data, what strikes me the most is how the economic crisis we are experiencing has a direct impact on eating and consumption habits. Curiously, when things go worse, and although obligatorily, we return to healthier products such as fruits and vegetables, although it is also true that we leave products with a good protein content and essential fats such as meat and fish.

What conclusions do you draw from this data?

Images | By · jubilation · haku · Directly to the Paladar | Is the crisis making us return to stew? Directly to the Palate | Wine consumption decreases in Spain

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