Woman buys fresh fruits and vegetables from a market stall at Brixton Market. Credit: Alena Veasey / Shutterstock
The latest Peas Please Progress Report reveals the amount of vegetables bought by households in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years.
Inequalities in vegetable consumption continue to be a serious concern, with veg consumption following a strong income gradient even before the cost of living crisis. Kantar basket data for the 2022-23 reporting year shows that on average, for those earning less than £10,000 a year, just 5.9% of their shopping basket consisted of veg compared to 8.2% for those earning over £70,000 a year.
The cost of living crisis has exacerbated these dietary inequalities, with a Food Foundation survey of 10,000 adults in January 2023 finding just under half of households experiencing food insecurity reporting buying fewer vegetables. A more recent survey from Veg Power found that 11% of all households claim to have bought fewer vegetables recently, with the effect most pronounced in lower income households.
Yet despite this, Peas Please pledgers have now sold 1.1 billion additional portions of veg since 2017.
Veg Cities, the Sustainable Food Places campaign led by Sustain, has partnered with Peas Please since the beginning of the programme. In total, 36 cities and other places have run Veg Cities campaigns over the past four years. This resulted in 660,843 people being directly reached through veg promotion activities and has contributed 9.78 million portions of veg served over the past four years.
Download the full report