Average consumer in India spending more than twice as much on fruits, vegetables, milk products over last five years amid rising prices, more disposable income, focus toward being more health conscious, survey says

NEW DELHI , July 6, 2013 () – An average Indian is spending much more on fruits, vegetables and milk products than cereals and pulses.

The latest National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data shows that spending of an Indian has more than doubled on buying fruits, vegetables and milk products in the last five years, whereas the expenditure on cereals and pulses has increased between 33% and 75%, indicating inflationary impact.

The survey of around one lakh households across India on consumer expenditure released in June, shows that per capita monthly food expenditure of an Indian has increased by around 110% between 2006-07 and 201112. But on vegetable, fruits and milk products, it increased between 120% and 240%.

This is primarily because the prices of fruit, vegetables and milk products have more than doubled during the period. "It also shows that people are getting health conscious and spending more on what they consider healthy food," said a senior government official.

Although the survey confirms the popular perception that an average Indian has more disposable income, the worrying trend is that share of milk has increased in the monthly food budget, while the share of most other food items has declined.

Milk's share was on a decline till 2004-05. It started shooting up thereafter and witnessed a maximum increase between 2009-10 and 2011-12.

Moreover, the spending of rural Indians on fruits, vegetables and milk products has increased more than those in urban areas.

For instance, a person in rural India spends 105% more on milk products as compared to an increase of 90% in urban areas. Similarly, expenditure on fruits and vegetables in rural India was higher than in urban areas.

The trend is broken when it comes to expenditure on cereals and pulses. The expenditure of an urban Indian on cereals increased by 47% as compared to 33% in villages. And the probable reason was that in villages, people grow cereals and pulses for home consumption which is not accounted for in the survey. Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

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