May is National Salsa Month: Common salsa vegetables remain popular
Demand for salsa, in its many forms, has grown steadily for decades in the United States, and now has taken a place among the top selling condiments along with such stalwarts as ketchup and mayonnaise. Research has shown that the demand for Hispanic cuisines along with rising incomes form the core of salsa demand as consumers find favor with various Mexican-style restaurants and grocery store entrees. In the United States, salsa is commonly regarded as a red, tomato-based sauce that can include almost any vegetable or fruit, the most popular of which are onions, peppers, and garlic. In 2019, per capita supplies of tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, chili peppers, and garlic available for Americans to eat totaled 129 pounds—some of which ended up in salsa. Although the per capita availability of tomatoes for processing (65 pounds) triples that of fresh-market tomatoes, the per capita availability of fresh-market tomatoes has steadily risen since 2000 to 20 pounds in 2019. Year-round supply of fresh tomatoes in grocery aisles is satisfied by domestic field-grown tomatoes, the expansion of imports, and the rising availability of greenhouse-grown tomatoes. Per capita availability of bell peppers and chili peppers has also grown modestly over the last two decades in the United States. This chart is drawn from the Economic Research Service Vegetables and Pulses Outlook, published in April 2020.
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