Search our shop

    Fruit Vegetable Price Index

    Fruit and Vegetable
    Price Index 2020

    At ReadtheLabl, analysing food prices and their nutritional value is vital to providing our customers with the best possible products. To support our expansion into foreign markets, we commissioned a study into the costs of fruits and vegetables around the world. Considering that vitamin and mineral deficiencies are prevalent worldwide, especially among children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, we decided to also calculate how long a person has to work for in order to be able to afford them in each nation. The data yielded some interesting results; not only did the price of fruit and vegetables vary quite significantly from country to country, but there was also an enormous disparity in their affordability for people all around the world.

    We began the study by selecting a basket of four fruits and twelve vegetables that are commonly found on grocery lists. We then collected the average prices for every item across each country, and calculated how far the price deviated from the global median. To determine affordability based on these prices, we also calculated how many hours on minimum wage a citizen in each country would have to work to meet the recommended daily minimum intake of fruit and vegetables per day, for a whole month. This intake is recommended as 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per day, according to the World Health Organization. The result is a comparative index that reveals the deviations in prices and affordability of common fruit and vegetables around the world.

    “There’s nothing more important for parents than being able to provide the necessary nutrition for their children in order to be healthier, however it remains that millions of families are unable to afford the basic required intake of vitamins and minerals,” says Kent Wood, CEO and Founder of ReadtheLabl. “For example, the World Health Organization tells us that globally, about 33% of women of reproductive age, and 42% of children 6-59 months of age are anaemic, which are staggering figures indicative of the inaccessibility of basic nutrition. It’s our hope that this study can help raise awareness about this issue so that we can strive towards a future where access to nutrition is no longer defined by inequality.”

    Each column in the table below is filterable. By default, the table is ranked by the final column; the hours need to be worked at minimum salary to afford 400g of fruit and vegetables per day for a month. The full methodology explaining how the percentage deviations and numbers of hours worked for each country were calculated can be found at the bottom of the page.

    Legend

    Fruit
    • Apples
    • Bananas
    • Grapes
    • Oranges
    Vegetables
    • Bell Peppers
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
    • Cauliflowers
    • Eggplants
    • Garlic
    • Onions
    • Potatoes
    • Spinach
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Tomatoes
    • Zuchinni
    TOTAL
    • % Price deviation from average
    • Hours at minimum salary
      worked to afford 400g

    International Results

    FruitS Vegetables Total
    # Country
    1 South Africa -38.78% -13.28% -39.74% -15.46% -13.04% 5.84% -26.94% 3.01% 3.26% 25.64% -21.37% -23.56% -42.99% 2.07% -64.84% 25.93% -14.64% 40:08:19
    2 Egypt -1.36% -27.34% -12.82% -75.95% -53.62% -48.45% -26.03% -46.49% -42.39% -76.92% -56.41% -44.89% -24.30% -48.97% -79.34% -25.93% -43.20% 32:12:14
    3 India -9.52% -25.00% -50.43% -50.52% -59.42% -78.69% -62.56% -83.95% -78.26% -33.33% -45.30% -76.89% -91.59% -55.86% -89.45% -70.37% -60.07% 29:23:34
    4 Thailand 95.24% -17.19% 54.70% 38.83% 86.96% -30.58% 47.03% -4.35% 9.78% 7.69% -19.66% -0.44% -20.56% -28.28% -54.73% 20.37% 11.55% 24:29:34
    5 Russia -26.53% -27.34% -61.54% -20.96% -21.74% 38.14% -45.21% -25.08% 53.26% -51.28% -63.25% -76.00% 87.85% -2.07% 12.09% -44.44% -17.13% 21:32:11
    6 China -55.78% 5.47% -7.69% 19.59% 0.00% 48.45% 18.72% 24.41% 28.26% -7.69% -28.21% -7.56% -31.78% -51.72% -42.86% -18.52% -6.68% 16:26:00
    7 Chile 44.22% -10.94% -1.71% 13.40% 49.28% -16.84% -5.94% -23.75% -11.96% 12.82% 7.69% 2.22% 71.96% 8.97% -34.51% -11.11% 5.86% 15:55:50
    8 Pakistan -1.36% -69.53% -36.75% -67.70% -56.52% -59.45% -44.29% -77.93% -78.26% -64.10% -59.83% -73.33% -98.13% -88.97% -83.74% -70.37% -64.39% 15:11:59
    9 Brazil 1.36% -33.59% -20.09% -41.58% -26.09% -13.40% -3.20% -29.10% -66.30% 10.26% -9.40% -24.44% -28.04% -69.66% -25.27% -55.56% -27.13% 14:15:32
    10 Colombia -7.48% -53.91% -36.75% -66.32% -42.03% -35.40% -47.95% -65.89% -78.26% -53.85% -54.70% -49.33% -44.86% -55.86% -57.36% -50.00% -50.00% 12:41:16
    11 Taiwan 129.25% 39.84% 35.47% 137.11% 76.81% 106.19% 79.91% 37.79% 58.70% 10.26% 27.35% 59.11% -18.69% 224.14% 70.99% 218.52% 80.80% 11:31:05
    12 Singapore 164.63% 149.22% 11.97% 73.20% 36.23% 103.44% 15.07% 65.22% 42.39% 0.00% 25.64% 0.44% -20.56% -0.69% -10.33% 107.41% 47.70% 11:00:55
    13 Czechia -46.26% 2.34% 19.23% -4.47% -11.59% -4.47% -16.89% 33.11% 14.13% -20.51% -39.32% -58.22% -38.32% 15.86% 5.05% -18.52% -10.55% 10:45:56
    14 Argentina -18.37% 5.47% -69.66% -49.14% -5.80% -40.89% -5.02% -47.83% -68.48% -5.13% -46.15% -41.33% 28.04% -65.52% -67.47% -61.11% -34.90% 9:02:44
    15 Croatia -45.58% 4.69% -51.28% -16.84% -14.49% 15.46% -26.94% -17.73% -23.91% -46.15% -42.74% -52.00% -5.61% -17.24% 0.22% 3.70% -21.03% 8:51:53
    16 Japan 295.24% 37.50% 155.13% 123.37% 46.38% -7.90% 321.92% 95.32% 2.17% 51.28% 202.56% 279.56% 36.45% 131.72% 174.73% 155.56% 131.31% 8:17:16
    17 Austria -5.44% 47.66% 6.41% -20.96% 86.96% 2.41% 17.81% 66.56% 61.96% 56.41% -15.38% 11.11% 167.29% 65.52% 9.45% 1.85% 34.97% 6:35:50
    18 UAE 51.70% 15.63% -40.17% -3.09% 73.91% 23.02% -8.68% -5.02% -50.00% -12.82% 2.56% -5.78% 214.02% -20.00% -28.79% 114.81% 20.08% 6:33:56
    19 Turkey -32.65% -5.47% -77.35% -37.46% -37.68% -63.57% -45.21% -67.89% -81.52% -5.13% -77.78% -76.89% -28.97% -50.34% -56.48% -70.37% -50.92% 6:30:12
    20 Hong Kong 10.20% 21.09% 34.62% 44.33% 57.97% -55.33% 59.82% 68.56% -14.13% -41.03% -0.85% 75.11% 51.40% -68.28% 25.27% 37.04% 19.11% 6:00:28
    21 Italy 14.29% 70.31% -44.44% 5.15% -11.59% 2.41% 36.07% -11.71% 51.09% 66.67% 18.80% 46.67% -26.17% 24.14% -0.22% 22.22% 16.48% 5:49:16
    22 US 87.76% -9.38% 3.42% 56.70% 101.45% 38.14% 74.43% 77.26% 38.04% 41.03% 57.26% 52.89% 43.93% 0.69% 36.70% 27.78% 45.51% 5:43:58
    23 Portugal -19.05% -17.97% 19.23% -38.83% 7.25% -38.14% -31.51% -31.10% -31.52% -41.03% 1.71% -20.00% 15.89% -21.38% -44.18% -38.89% -20.59% 5:12:54
    24 Saudi Arabia -19.05% -15.63% -38.03% -58.08% -39.13% 0.34% -12.33% -25.75% -77.17% -30.77% -5.98% -30.67% -68.22% -50.34% -30.99% -1.85% -31.48% 4:30:50
    25 Greece -12.24% -8.59% -8.12% -54.64% -5.80% -34.71% -28.77% -59.87% -57.61% 10.26% -48.72% -4.00% 5.61% 7.59% -27.47% -59.26% -24.15% 3:56:16
    26 Spain -31.97% -2.34% -57.26% -38.14% -36.23% -0.34% -36.99% -33.78% -31.52% -7.69% -27.35% -13.78% -32.71% -18.62% -42.86% -38.89% -28.16% 3:54:48
    27 Sweden 14.97% 46.88% 61.11% 49.14% 49.28% 146.05% 3.20% 34.45% 61.96% 100.00% -3.42% -8.44% 155.14% 55.86% 45.05% 53.70% 54.06% 3:54:33
    28 Canada 74.83% -17.97% 62.39% 34.71% 68.12% 18.21% 83.56% 130.10% -2.17% 43.59% 10.26% 139.11% 35.51% 25.52% 33.19% 5.56% 46.53% 3:51:09
    29 New Zealand 29.93% 37.50% 19.66% 41.58% 69.57% -18.90% 7.76% 56.52% 91.30% 164.10% 12.82% 30.67% 14.95% 46.21% 3.30% 79.63% 42.91% 3:45:31
    30 Finland -19.05% 13.28% 14.96% -31.96% 20.29% 16.15% 63.47% 41.81% 33.70% 0.00% 0.85% 5.78% 377.57% 62.76% 62.20% 1.85% 41.48% 3:34:10
    31 Belgium 47.62% -17.97% 14.96% 3.09% -8.70% 2.41% -52.51% 19.73% -10.87% 43.59% -35.90% 55.56% -27.10% 53.10% 29.23% -18.52% 6.11% 3:25:14
    32 Mexico -23.81% -28.13% -12.39% -36.77% 21.74% -45.02% -43.38% -3.01% -43.48% -17.95% 2.56% 16.44% -61.68% 17.24% -35.82% -55.56% -21.81% 3:21:40
    33 Australia 4.08% 86.72% 19.23% 47.77% -4.35% 45.70% 23.29% 125.42% 60.87% 141.03% 52.14% 91.11% 186.92% 26.90% 59.12% 22.22% 61.76% 3:14:32
    34 Norway 121.77% 30.47% 26.50% 86.94% 75.36% 35.40% 35.16% 45.15% 114.13% 17.95% 26.50% 39.56% -55.14% 10.34% 67.47% 192.59% 54.38% 3:12:04
    35 UK 47.62% -21.88% 1.71% -28.52% -21.74% -31.27% -36.99% 11.04% 3.26% -38.46% 11.11% 45.78% 48.60% -53.10% 9.45% 14.81% -2.41% 3:03:35
    36 Denmark 44.90% 29.69% 14.53% 40.89% 73.91% 28.52% 13.24% 60.54% 67.39% 0.00% 14.53% 6.67% 79.44% 43.45% 40.66% 98.15% 41.03% 2:58:40
    37 Ireland -15.65% -2.34% 19.23% 17.53% 0.00% 7.22% 13.24% -13.71% -14.13% -33.33% 8.55% 33.33% -18.69% -4.83% 31.43% 38.89% 4.17% 2:54:10
    38 Germany -3.40% 38.28% -27.78% 36.77% -20.29% -31.96% 28.77% -35.12% 32.61% 7.69% 17.09% -28.89% 55.14% 44.83% 5.05% -7.41% 6.96% 2:46:24
    39 France 8.16% 24.22% -52.99% 3.09% 1.45% -31.96% 31.51% 13.71% -25.00% 71.79% 44.44% 6.67% 42.06% -6.21% -25.71% -42.59% 3.92% 2:15:16
    40 Switzerland 117.01% 57.81% 4.27% 67.70% 85.51% 23.02% 24.20% 44.48% 46.74% 48.72% 59.83% 52.00% 99.07% 140.00% 45.05% -11.11% 56.52% 2:03:48

    Methodology

    Methodology

    The Fruit & Vegetable
    Price Index 2020


    The Fruit & Vegetable Price Index 2020 compares and analyses the cost of fruits and vegetables across 40 countries around the world. The countries selected were chosen based on the availability of data, as well as to provide a broad cross-section of prices from multiple continents.

    The study takes a comprehensive look into the average cost of the below four fruits and twelve vegetables. The fruits and vegetables were chosen due to their popularity as common household staples, as well as for their availability in multiple countries, making them comparable on a global scale.

    Fruits:
    • Apples
    • Bananas
    • Grapes
    • Oranges
    Vegetables:
    • Bell Peppers
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
    • Cauliflowers
    • Eggplants
    • Garlic
    • Onions
    • Potatoes
    • Spinach
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Tomatoes*
    • Zucchini

    *Tomatoes are classified in the study as a vegetable under the culinary definition, rather than as a fruit according to the botanical definition.

    The index analyses how far the price of each food item deviates from the global median. The individual deviations of all sixteen fruits and vegetables were then averaged to reveal the total deviation for each country. All prices were collected from national supermarket outlets at full price without discount.

    Below you can find a description of price collection methods, deviation and affordability
    calculations expressed in terms of hours of work on minimum wage.

    Price Collection


    A standardised profile for each fruit and vegetable* was created in order to obtain comparable average prices across all countries. If the specified package size wasn’t available, the closest available package size was taken instead and standardised according to the profile in order to ensure comparibility. For example: profile for spinach = 1 package of 200g. If a supermarket offered 250g packages and 500g packages, the 250g package was chosen. The price was then divided by 250 and multiplied by 200 to fit the original profile. The profile weight for each fruit and vegetable included peel, skin, stalks and seeds.

    For the calculation of some prices, it was necessary to estimate the weight of certain fruits and vegetables as they were only indicated as price per piece. The estimates were based on information available from various online resources, online supermarkets that specified the weight of an item, as well as weights from a local supermarket.

    The price for each fruit and vegetable was collected between November 2019 and February 2020 from online supermarkets in every country. It reflects the current price found in a mid-range supermarket, i.e. not in discount or speciality supermarkets*.

    Sources: Local online supermarkets.

    **Full details of the profiles used for each fruit and vegetable for the purposes of the study, as well as the names of the
    supermarkets, are available upon request.

    Calculation of
    Deviation


    Deviation from Median Price

    In order to determine the deviation from the median price, the representative country price for each fruit and vegetable was compared to the median of all country prices. The deviation from the median is calculated using the following formula:

    Example: Deviation of the price for bananas in the UK:

    Hours of
    Minimum Wage
    Calculation


    The minimum wage was collected for each country from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and local employment authorities. Wherever possible, the data was collected as minimum wage per hour. Otherwise, the minimum wage per hour was calculated using the average number of hours full-time employees work in each country. If a country did not have regulations on minimum wage, the wages from a low-wage industry were identified and used. This was the case in the following countries: Denmark - Informal Minimum Wage, Finland - Cleaner, Italy - Farmer, Norway - Agriculture, Singapore - Cleaner, Sweden - Home Service Personnel, Switzerland - Hairdresser, United Arab Emirates - Informal Minimum Wage.

    In order to calculate the number of hours needed to work on a minimum wage salary to be able to afford fruits and vegetables, it was necessary to take the median price of all prices per country and standardise it to 400 grams (including peel, skin and seeds). This intake is based on scientific guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), who recommend that individuals should eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables a day (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers) for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as for the prevention and alleviation of several micronutrient deficiencies.

    This price of a day’s portion of fruits and vegetables was then extrapolated to a month and divided by the hourly minimum wage using the following calculation:

    Please note that this profile of 400 grams of all fruit and vegetables included in the study does not reflect the standard quantities of servings, i.e., 80g is not the average weight of 1 banana (120g), nor 1 carrot (62g). However, it is a representative price of the minimum amount of fruit and vegetables recommended by the WHO and as such serves as a comparative basis for this study.

    Furthermore, in order to adhere to the commonly-known 5-a-day principle (consumption of at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, i.e. 400g), the average prices of garlic and potatoes were excluded from this equation. Potatoes are excluded as they mainly contribute starch to a diet, and garlic because it would be unlikely an individual would consume enough to constitute an 80g serving.

    Sources: OECD, ILO, local employment authorities.

    All data was standardised to a common profile and currency. Currency conversions are according
    to the average exchange rate between 25th January to 24th February 2020.