Is Tesco’s 5-a-day plan financially feasible?

Photo by: Danielle Golds
Photo by: Danielle Golds
Photo by: Danielle Golds

“A student diet is a healthy one” – said no one ever. In the midst of frozen pizza, pasta, and Dervish (or Empire – pick your poison!) it can be difficult to ensure one’s diet contains the right amount of fruits and vegetables. Tesco produce contains a label proclaiming ‘five – a- day’ on most packaging. This is part of Tesco’s campaign to “increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables by highlighting the reasons why we need to eat them”.

In theory, it seems relatively easy. We just have to eat 400g of fruit and vegetables a day. However, most of us probably fall short of this minimum recommendation. In addition, many feel fresh produce is relatively expensive at Tesco – even more so at John Birrell & Son. But, is it? Putting together a quick list of fruits and vegetables, we sought to test this claim.

Credit: The Saint

Based on these results Tesco is a total of £1.19 more expensive than John Birrell & Son. Depending on what kind of vegetables you prefer, however, the results might differ. It ought to be taken into consideration however what each shop could provide for you.

While Tesco has the convenient appeal of long hours and a supermarket structure, most of its produce is imported and therefore carries with it an extensive carbon footprint. On the positive, most produce comes in packaging that indicates nutritional information and expiration dates. Even further conveniences are the mixed packages of prepared vegetables, which cut down preparation time and hassle.

In contrast, John Birrell & Sons is a greengrocer for a wholesale business. Produce is more local and seasonal, with the option to purchase a variety of quantities, so you can choose how much you want to spend. Despite the small size of the shop (located at 201 South Street, KY16 9EF), a wide variety of produce is available, ranging from blood oranges to hispi cabbages to celeriac. With a lack of packaging however, it is up to your discretion to look up nutritional information and figure out portion sizes.

It is difficult to keep up with a comprehensive diet of fruits and vegetables as a student, especially when it can be so expensive. However, keeping up with your diet will both make you feel better and perform better in class. Thereby, the near nine Tesco price may be worth it!


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