Significant changes in nutrition in the last decade in terms of spending and consumption shows a survey released by the Consumer Goods Retail Research Institute (IELKA) on the occasion of Nutrition Day (October 16).
According to the results of the analysis, the per capita expenditure on groceries was formed in 2022 at 1,825 euros, reduced by -5.8% compared to 2009, the year before the start of the first financial crisis.
Compared to 2021, total spending on groceries increased by 3.10%, which is attributed to a combination of price appreciation and a decrease in household shopping volume.
Based on these data, it is estimated that the total expenditure of Greeks on groceries in 2022 amounts to 20.28 billion euros (against 22.10 billion euros in 2009). This amount includes only the expenditure of Greeks (e.g. not the expenditure, tourism, catering, etc.) and concerns only groceries (e.g. other items that are in supermarket stores such as stationery, pet supplies, baby milk, bazaar items, cosmetics, tobacco, etc.).
As can be seen from a more in-depth analysis, the expenditure per category of goods has differentiated quite a bit in the individual product categories, which is attributed to changes in consumption and eating habits. Table 2 records the changes in monetary expenditure per capita by category in the period 2009-2022, while table 3 shows the changes in the quantities purchased and consumed.
In particular, the figures of the monthly monetary expenditure show:
- increase in shopping expenditure on basic carbohydrate sources, indicative increase in expenditure on bread and bakery goods 12%
- reduction of expenditure on protein sources, indicatively beef reduction -18% and sheep and goat meat -40%
- reduction of expenditure on dairy products, indicatively fresh milk with a reduction of -30%
- reduction of expenditure on olive oil -17%
- decrease in spending on fruits -7%, on vegetables -43%, but an increase in fruits by 44% and nuts by 48%
- 9% decrease in spending on non-alcoholic beverages, but 68% increase in spending on alcoholic beverages
Even more interesting are the figures of monthly consumption in quantities which record large changes now in terms of nutrition and which show:
- Steady trend in major carbohydrate sources with monthly per capita consumption of bread and bakery items decreasing by 6% to around 4 kg per month.
- Reduction in the consumption of basic animal proteins by about 16%, with about 1 kg less meat per month with the exception of poultry which shows an increase (it is also a more economical solution). There is an increase in vegetable proteins and especially legumes.
- Reduction in dairy and especially fresh milk by 41% with the exception of low-fat milk and eggs
- Reduction in olive oil consumption by about 30%.
- A reduction in fresh fruit and vegetables of around 15% with a reduction of 1 kg less per month in both fruit and vegetables, but this is partly attributable to the food waste of the 2000s.
- Reduction for soft drinks with around 1 liter less soft drinks per month per capita.
- Increase for alcoholic beverages, but related to more consumption at home than in restaurants.
These nutritional developments can provide advantages, but also significant disadvantages for the quality of the public’s diet. Indicative:
- Reducing Meat Consumption: This change can help reduce the consumption of saturated fat and high levels of preservatives. It also reduces the environmental burden associated with animal husbandry.
- Raising Poultry: Poultry provides high quality protein with lower levels of saturated fat compared to red meat.
- Increase in Vegetable Proteins (Special Legumes): Legumes are a source of high quality protein, rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Reduced Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: This reduction can lead to less intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber that are important for health and immunity.
- Reduction in Olive Oil Consumption: This reduction can affect the intake of essential fats, although it can be adjusted by adding other sources of fat to the diet.
- Increased Alcohol Consumption: Increased alcohol consumption can be linked to health problems, as well as other risks.
However, daily caloric intake does not appear to have been affected. Until the last available measurement from the UN, no alarming trend was recorded with the decrease in the period examined by the present study 2009-2018 estimated at 3.5% and the daily intake of calories in 2018 estimated at 3,382 calories.
Finally, the following table shows the average price paid by the consumer in 2022 compared to 2009. As can be seen, the largest increases are recorded in nuts by 61%, in lettuce by 64% and in coffee by 54%, while the largest reductions are recorded in preserved milk by -18%, in mineral waters by -30% and in poultry by -4%. In general, these figures show a shift of the consumer public to more economical solutions in order to cover the same needs with similar products.
It is noted that in recent years, the coverage of household needs from own production, which usually concerns rural areas, has decreased significantly with the exception of individual products and mainly olive oil, as recorded in the table.
Finally, it should be noted that IELKA carries out studies documenting the changes that the Greeks’ consumption trends in grocery items are undergoing. In the context of these investigations, the family budgets provided by EL.STAT were analyzed.