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Europe is buying less citrus fruit

The current economic situation in Europe has resulted in a flat, tight consumption rate, for virtually all product categories, in both fruit and vegetables.

Citrus fruit are no exception and they are suffering from the same trend. A trend that is also becoming implanted in Spain.

Germany, due to its purchase volume, is the country suffering most at present. In 2013, Germans consumed 6.5 kilos of oranges per capita, and in 2021 the figure had dropped to 5.3 kilos, a trend that has continued to fall throughout 2022, and that is being consolidated at the beginning of 2023. The same route is being followed by mandarins, which in 2016 reached up to 5 kilos per capita and today have dropped to a consumption of 4.5 kilos per person.

grafico citricos

In the rest of Europe, similar decreases have also been recorded. Specifically, in Scandinavia (the main export market of Spanish citrus fruit) orange consumption has come to a standstill and the consumption curve has been showing a descending trend since 2015, when they consumed more than 8 kilos per capita, to the present day when Scandinavian people have reduced their consumption to around 6.5 kilos. Mandarins are recording the same trend: in 2016 mandarin consumption per capita was 6 kilos and now it does not reach 5 kilos.

This reduction, in addition to the strong impact caused by the current crisis, is also explained by the increase in competition on the supermarket shelves and the appearance of new varieties in many other categories, as well as due to the increase in demand of dairy products or their derivatives that are taking over from fruit consumption.

No promotion for Spanish citrus fruit

In an in-depth analysis of this lack of demand, obviously affected by the inflationary situation throughout Europe, it is worth mentioning that there have been no promotional activities carried out for Spanish oranges and mandarins since the 2007/2008 campaign. The truth is that for the past 15 years this sector has not been taking advantage of the opportunity of benefitting from the aid for promoting European products made available by the Commission in Brussels. This year these funds reach almost 190 million euros and in the case of Spanish citrus fruit, specifically lemons and grapefruit will be the only ones to carry out promotion campaigns charged to these funds, managed by Ailimpo.

Spain is also suffering from a drop in consumption

In 2009, Spain recorded a consumption of 21.99 kilos of oranges per capita, compared to the 15.44 kilos per capita recorded in 2021.

In mandarins, in the same years, consumption ranged between 6.70 kg and 6.11 kg. However, taking into account the extension of the campaign with the appearance of new varieties of royalties that have increased the months for selling mandarins, this fact shows a reduction in consumption in the traditionally strongest months.

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