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In The Long Run

Romaine, Leaf Lettuce, and Spinach Rise in Popularity

The growing popularity of ready-to-eat packaged salad greens, introduced in the late 1980s, has contributed to the dramatic growth in the amount of romaine, leaf lettuce, and spinach available for consumption in the United States. Spinach availability rose 240 percent between 1985 and 2005, from 0.7 to 2.3 pounds per person. Romaine and leaf lettuce availability rose 269 percent from 3.3 to 12.1 pounds per person. While head (iceberg) lettuce is still the dominant salad green, its availability decreased 14 percent to 20.3 pounds per person between 1985 and 2005.

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Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System, by Jeanine Bentley and Linda Kantor, USDA, Economic Research Service, August 2016