People in the lowest income quartile in the EU are going without fresh fruit and vegetables to save, and a higher proportion are buying cheaper cuts of meat or buying less meat because of money concerns. This practice is occurring throughout Europe, but there are vast differences between Member States.
The findings from the European Quality of Life Survey 2016 show that economising on fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as meat, is less common in western and northern EU countries such as Sweden, Ireland, Austria and Finland; whereas it was much more common in eastern EU Member States such as Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Slovakia.
Differences were significant on the extreme ends of the scale. For example, 6% of people on the lowest incomes in Sweden have gone without fresh fruit and vegetables to save, whereas this was 42% of those on the lowest incomes in Bulgaria.
Read more on material disadvantage and quality of life in the European Quality of Life Survey 2016 Overview report