Publications

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  • Price Premiums Hold on as U.S. Organic Produce Market Expands

    VGS-308-01, May 27, 2005

    Price premiums for organic products have contributed to growth in certified organic farmland and, ultimately, market expansion. Fresh produce has long been an important component of the organic food sector, and a significant contributor to the organic industry's growth over the last decade. This article explores price premiums and market margins for a limited set of fresh produce items-carrots, broccoli, and mesclun mix.

  • Greenhouse Tomatoes Change the Dynamics of the North American Fresh Tomato Industry

    ERR-2, April 01, 2005

    The North American greenhouse tomato industry has grown rapidly since the early 1990s and now plays a major role in the fresh tomato industry. ERS looked at consumption and price trends, competition from Mexico and Canada, and the rising industry's effect on the entire fresh field tomato sector.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Looking Ahead to 2020

    AIB-792-7, November 12, 2004

    Rising income, higher educational attainment, improved diet and health knowledge, more frequent eating out, and a growing population that will become older and more diverse in race and ethnicity are all shaping U.S. agricultural consumption. These effects are analyzed using data from the 1994-96 and 1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals. We then project the consumption of 25 food groups and 22 commodity groups, including various fruit and vegetable groups, to 2020.

  • Understanding Fruit and Vegetable Choices: Economic and Behavioral Influences

    AIB-792-1, November 12, 2004

    Nutritionists recommend a variety of vegetables, including regular servings of deep-yellow and dark-green vegetables prepared with limited amounts of fats and sugars. In contrast, the most popular vegetable choice of most Americans is fried potatoes.

  • Low-Income Households' Expenditures on Fruits and Vegetables

    AIB-792-5, November 12, 2004

    Both public and private organizations have noted that Americans generally eat less fruits and vegetables than is recommended in the Food Guide Pyramid. For example, the Produce for Better Health Foundation found that only 38 percent of Americans consume the recommended number of servings of vegetables, while only 23 percent consume the recommended number of servings of fruit. Even more troubling, low-income households eat even less fruits and vegetables than higher income households.

  • U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Who, What, Where, and How Much

    AIB-792-2, November 12, 2004

    For good health, USDA urges American consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables-5 to 9 servings per day-and to choose a healthier, more varied mix of these foods. The variety of produce available to Americans has blossomed in recent years, but are consumers responding? The first step in determining this is to ask who eats what, where, and how much. Since 2000, ERS has been analyzing data from national USDA food consumption surveys, and we are ready to share some highlights.

  • How Much Do Americans Pay for Fruits and Vegetables?

    AIB-792-4, November 12, 2004

    Many Americans do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Almost half of Americans think eating more fruits and vegetables would make their diets healthier, so why don't they? One argument is that fruits and vegetables are expensive, especially when purchased fresh. According to an ERS study, a consumer can meet the recommendation of three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables daily for 64 cents.

  • The USDA Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program Evaluation

    AIB-792-6, November 12, 2004

    National data on the diets of U.S. children and adolescents indicate they are consuming more fat and saturated fat than recommended while their intakes of fruits and vegetables fall well below recommended levels.

  • What Determines the Variety of a Household's Vegetable Purchases?

    AIB-792-3, November 12, 2004

    The USDA encourages people to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables through the Food Guide Pyramid and participation in the National 5-A-Day Partnership. A varied diet helps ensure a complete mix of nutrients, and a lack of variety in vegetable consumption has been further linked to the incidence of obesity (e.g., McCrory et al.). To assist these efforts, the USDA's Economic Research Service has investigated the factors that influence the purchase of vegetables, and identified obstacles to variety.

  • How Much Do Americans Pay for Fruits and Vegetables?

    AIB-790, July 20, 2004

    This analysis uses ACNielsen Homescan data on 1999 household food purchases from all types of retail outlets to estimate an annual retail price per pound and per serving for 69 forms of fruits and 85 forms of vegetables. Among the forms we priced, more than half were estimated to cost 25 cents or less per serving. Consumers can meet the recommendation of three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables daily for 64 cents.

  • European Trading Arrangements in Fruits and Vegetables

    VGS-303-01, July 01, 2004

    The European Union (EU) participates in regional and preferential trading arrangements more than any other country or region. Over 70 percent of EU fruit and vegetable imports are from countries benefiting from preferential treatment for some portion of that trade. The most valuable preferences are accorded the 42 least developed countries, while 77 former colonies of EU countries also receive important preferences. The EU's many preferential agreements create a mosaic of tariffs, quotas, and other import restrictions that vary considerably among products and among preferred partners which makes analysis impossibly complex. Exports from countries without preferences, including the United States, are at a disadvantage in EU markets.

  • Global Trade in Fruits and Vegetables Brings Variety to the Nation's Grocery Stores

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2004

    Twenty years ago, shoppers at U.S. grocery stores contented themselves with apples, pears, oranges, and bananas. Now, thanks to an acceleration of global trade in fruits and vegetables, mangoes, papayas, avocados, kiwi fruit, and more are available on produce shelves year round. This growth has been facilitated by trade agreements, rising consumer demand, and vastly improved technology that allows perishable fruit to be transported long distances.

  • Untapped Potential of Cuba's Citrus and Tropical Fruit Industry

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2004

    Cuba's production of tropical and citrus fruit has grown rapidly, especially during the 1990s. If the current U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba were lifter, Cuba could become an important supplier of fruit to the United States and could present serious competition to U.S. growers, particularly in Florida.

  • Global Trade Patterns in Fruits and Vegetables

    WRS-0406, June 01, 2004

    International trade in fruits and vegetables has expanded at a higher rate than trade in other agricultural commodities, particularly since the 1980s. Not only has world trade in fruits and vegetables gained prominence, but the variety of commodities has expanded. Over the years, three regions-the European Union (EU), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) area, and Asia (East, Southeast, and South)-have remained as both the major destinations and sources of supply. A substantial share of their trade is intraregional, particularly that of the EU. All the three regions, however, depend on Southern Hemisphere countries for imports of juices and off-season fresh fruits, and on equatorial regions for bananas, the leading fresh fruit import. In addition to global north-south trading, due mostly to the counter-cyclical seasons of the two hemispheres, Asian trade has also become much more important since the 1980s as incomes and populations have grown and policies changed.

  • Cuba's Citrus Industry: Growth and Change

    FTS-30901, April 30, 2004

    Cuban citrus is a major commercial crop and foreign exchange earner. The 1990s saw an industry collapse and a shift from fresh oranges to processed citrus products and grapefruit production. If commercial relationships with the United States were restored, Cuba's citrus industry would likely look to U.S. markets for new opportunities for Cuban fresh citrus, processed citrus products, and citrus byproducts. In turn, Cuba's citrus industry could become a market for U.S. exports of technology, citrus rootstock and other inputs, and capital. New U.S.-Cuban partnerships could develop to partially integrate citrus production, processing, and marketing for U.S. markets.

  • Cuba's Tropical Fruit Industry

    FTS-30902, April 09, 2004

    Cuba's tropical fruit industry primarily caters to domestic markets with fresh fruits that are Cuban diet staples. Plantains and bananas account for over 70 percent of production. Tropical fruit production fell with Cuba's collapsing economy in the early 1990s. With ideal climate and land resources, production potential remains high. Production and demand will both recover and grow as Cuba's economy recovers. If commercial relationships with the United States were restored, Cuba could initially look to U.S. sources for quality tropical fruits for Cuba's growing tourist market. Eventually, as Cuba's economy and its tropical fruit sector recover, the United States could provide new market opportunities for an increasingly competitive Cuban tropical fruit sector.

  • Response to U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Associated with Imported Produce

    AIB-789-5, February 28, 2004

    This report examines how U.S. and other nations responded to foodborne illness outbreaks traced to internationally-traded food.

  • Country-of-Origin Labeling: Theory and Observation

    WRS-0402, January 23, 2004

    This report examines the economic rationale behind the various claims about the effects of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, thereby identifying the most likely outcomes. Profits motivate firms to innovate and introduce thousands of new food products each year to satisfy consumers' demand. Yet, food suppliers have generally not emphasized, advertised, or labeled food with U.S. country of origin. The infrequency of "Made in USA" labels on food suggests suppliers do not believe domestic origin is an attribute that can attract much consumer interest. We find little evidence that suppliers would have difficulty supplying such labels if there were sufficient consumer interest.

  • U.S. Fresh Produce Markets: Marketing Channels, Trade Practices, and Retail Pricing Behavior

    AER-825, September 23, 2003

    Retail consolidation, technological change in production and marketing, and growing consumer demand have altered the traditional market relationships between producers, wholesalers, and retailers.

  • Characteristics of U.S. Orange Consumption

    FTS-30501, August 01, 2003

    U.S. per capita consumption of oranges has grown slowly since the 1960s, although the orange remains the number one fruit consumed (total fresh and processed uses). Consumption patterns appear to vary by demographic and economic characteristics. Northeast consumers show the strongest preference for orange juice, and those in the West for fresh oranges compared with consumers elsewhere. Consumers in the Midwest and the South consume less of all orange products. Hispanics and people of "other" races (including Asians) have the highest orange consumption of all racial/ethnic groups. Consumers classified as high-income favor orange juice, while those in the low-income group have the highest per capita consumption of orange drink. Males consume a greater share of all orange products than females.