Meals in the last 45 years: less fresh produce, more ready meals
Since 1960, the proportion of household budgets spent on food in the home has fallen by half, from 25% to 12% in 2006. Half of this spending is accounted for by foods which can be eaten between meals (cheese, desserts, fruits, bread, etc.). The remaining half is made up of foods which are only eaten at mealtimes, in other words as a starter and main course. Within this sub-segment, the proportion of meat, fish and vegetable-based processed products has more than doubled, reaching 41% in 2006, at the expense of products requiring more individual preparation. Fish, bolstered by its use as an ingredient in ready dishes, has partly replaced meat and eggs. Fresh vegetables and starchy foods have partly been replaced by vegetable and potato-based ready dishes. Compared with other European households, the French have a particular preference for meat. The proportion of household budgets spent on vegetables and starchy foods in France is one of the lowest.