Monitoring food consumption and its determinants over time is essential for defining and implementing health promotion strategies, but surveillance is scarce in Africa. The present study aimed to describe fruit and vegetable consumption in Mozambique according to socio-demographic characteristics and place of residence (urban/rural). A national representative sample (n 3323) of subjects aged 25–64 years was evaluated in 2005 following the WHO Stepwise Approach to Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance, which included an assessment of usual fruit and vegetable consumption (frequency and quantity). Crude prevalence and age-, education- and family income-adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) with 95 % CI were computed. Less than 5 % of the subjects reported an intake of five or more daily servings of fruits/vegetables. Both fruits and vegetables were more often consumed by women and in rural settings. In urban areas, the prevalence of fruit intake ( ≥ 2 servings/d) increased with education ( ≥ 6 years v. < 1 year: women, adjusted PR = 3·11, 95 % CI 1·27, 7·58; men, adjusted PR = 3·63, 95 % CI 1·22, 10·81), but not with income. Conversely, vegetable consumption ( ≥ 2 servings/d) was less frequent in more educated urban men ( ≥ 6 years v. < 1 year: adjusted PR = 0·30, 95 % CI 0·10, 0·94) and more affluent rural women ( ≥ $801 US dollars (USD) v. $0–64: adjusted PR = 0·32, 95 % CI 0·13, 0·81). The very low intake of these foods in this setting supports the need for fruit and vegetable promotion programmes that target the whole population, despite the different socio-demographic determinants of fruit and vegetable intake.