Milk is just one product that has become more expensive. | MDB

Alfonso Rodríguez Sánchez, president of the Consubal consumers association in the Balearics, says that shoppers in the Balearics are replacing fresh products with frozen ones because they are cheaper and are buying "unhealthy" cuts of meat that contain a lot of fat. "People in the Balearics are no longer eating what they want but what they can."

IRI Worldwide, a data analysis company, made a presentation at a recent conference about fresh product purchasing and reported that there has been a fall in the volume of purchases of fresh products in Spain this year. This has been notably greater than that for all other consumer products. Seafood, fish and vegetables are the fresh categories most affected by the fall in sales.

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"The current context is leading consumers to austerity purchasing behaviours that we experienced in the '70s and '80s and that are the result of inflation fatigue," explained the commercial director of IRI Worldwide, Antonio Khalaf.

Rodríguez adds that consumers in the Balearics are increasingly turning to white brands, that far more pasta is being consumed, that more bread is being bought, especially the poorest quality, and that "industrial pastries" are replacing fresh fruit in children's snacks. Moreover, very few zero-kilometre products are being purchased because "they are very expensive". "Every day we have a less healthy diet and we are going to notice that in our health in the short to medium term."

Despite constraints on purchasing, he explains that an average family of four is now spending about 135 euros a week on basic purchases and without buying fresh fish, while a year ago the same family could buy more fresh and higher quality products and spend around 90 euros.