Statisticians news for the food industry: Lithuanian diet is changing

Beef and veal are becoming a delicacy while the consumption of vegetables is growing. Statisticians are sending a message to the food industry about the rapid changes in Lithuanian dietary habits – of the 15 basic food products consumers had been faithful to over the last decade, only dairy products and eggs remain. Beef has been replaced by poultry; fruits and berries have been replaced by sugar.

The consumption of potatoes, which was previously very popular in Lithuania, is now the same as other vegetables. A decade ago, 130 kg of potatoes were consumed per person per year, while last year the number decreased to 94 kg. In 2001, the consumption of other vegetables was 86 kg per person, but last year that number increased to 94 kg.

However the concerns of dietitians over the small amounts of fruits and berries consumed have not persuaded Lithuanians. In the pre-crisis period of 2006–2008, 79 kg of fruits and berries were consumed per person per year. But that number has dropped since, and last year it amounted to only 56 kg per person.

The crisis has also affected the consumption of meat: In ten years, the consumption of beef has dropped from 10 kg to 4 kg, the change having been considerably influenced by the price increase. The consumption of meat in general has dropped from 81 kg in 2008, to 69 kg last year.

The new gap was taken over by poultry, the consumption of which doubled in the last decade from 12 kg to 21–22 kg.

The consumption of milk and dairy products, as well as eggs, has remained more or less stable. Today we eat approximately 283 kg of dairy products and 203 eggs, the same as a decade ago. And, without any regard to the health dangers it poses, Lithuanians still sweeten their lives with a considerable amount of sugar—per person consumption has been fluctuating around 29–32 kg per year.