U.S. consumer preference for high-value products is reflected in imports

Horizontal bar chart showing import share of U.S. food consumption where sweeteners, fruits and tree nuts comprised over 40 percent from 2011-21

The U.S. share of agricultural consumption sourced from imports tends to be higher for higher-value agricultural product groups. This higher share is due to numerous factors—including the relative competitiveness in production, seasonal availability, consumer preferences, and others. Sweeteners, and processed sugar, and confections are groups of products where the United States is reliant on imports. Fruits, nuts, and vegetables are also frequently imported. The United States tends to have a lower reliance on imports for unprocessed commodities such as feed grains, livestock, and oilseeds. The total import share of consumption across all food and beverages between 2011 and 2021 was 15 percent, steadily growing over the period.

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