‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and a recent study by Tesco has revealed that Cavan shoppers buy a larger proportion of apples than the rest of the country. Tesco has created a map of Ireland’s fruit and vegetable eating habits by analysing weekly data collected in all of its stores over the past 12 months.
As growers across Ireland prepare to harvest new season Irish crops, Tesco has looked into national and regional 5-a-day preferences. With nearly 70 million sold in stores every year, bananas top the charts in most counties and just slip to second place in Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kildare and Mayo which favour fresh berries over bananas at the top of the fruit and vegetable charts.
Map of Ireland’s regional 5 a day preferences
click to enlarge the image
At the other end of the charts, cauliflower and kale are the least popular across the country but that could all change this year with cauliflower tipped as a food trend for 2015 praised for its health benefits and low-carbohydrate credentials meaning this once unfashionable vegetable is being turned into cauliflower mash, cauliflower couscous, used as a gluten free pizza base and even grated to resemble rice.Wexford shoppers could already be on board with this trend buying a larger proportion of cauliflower than the rest of the country.
Looking at regional preferences, Dubliners seem to have bought into food trends more than any other county last year with two of 2014’s trendiest ingredients; kale and avocado more popular in Dublin than the rest of the country. Other fruit and vegetables at the top of Dublin shopping lists include; bananas, berries, tomatoes, potatoes, oranges, peppers, grapes, mushrooms, apples and onions.
Sligo cooks clearly enjoy adding some spice to home cooking buying a larger proportion of chillies and fresh herbs than the rest of the country while Kerry shoppers are cool as a cucumber buying more cucumbers.
Donegal shoppers are displaying a sweet tooth buying a larger proportion of berries, oranges and sweet potato while Offaly shoppers favour root vegetables, buying a larger proportion of potatoes and swede than the rest of the country.
Fruit takes four of the top five favourite fruit and vegetable slots for Cork shoppers with bananas, berries, tomatoes and oranges taking the top four followed by potatoes as the top veg. The least popular included; cauliflowers, chillies and kale.
Commenting about the results, Nutritionist Elsa Jones said “It’s encouraging to see that Irish people are buying a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Getting your 5-a-day is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It’s also important to eat a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables as each colour provides a unique set of nutrients. For optimal health, aim to eat the five colours of the rainbow every day – red, orange, yellow, green and purple.”
Christine Heffernan, Tesco Ireland Corporate Affairs Director added “One of the most interesting parts of our jobs is delving into food trends and regional flavour preferences. We know that it can be tricky to get your five a day as part of a busy lifestyle and to make it easier on shoppers’ pockets, we continue to focus on lowering prices on the products that matter most to our customers including the fruit and vegetables on this list.”