Publications

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Factors Affecting Spinach Consumption in the United States

    VGS-300-01, January 20, 2004

    U.S. fresh-market spinach consumption has been increasing over the past few decades. Basic knowledge of the distribution of spinach consumption across different market channels, geographic regions, and population groups has been very limited in the past. Using data from USDA's 1994-96 and 1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, this article examines the consumption distribution of fresh-market and processed spinach in the United States. The analysis indicates that per capita spinach consumption is greatest in the Northeast and West. About 80 percent of fresh-market spinach is purchased at retail and consumed at home, while 91 percent of processed spinach is consumed at home. Per capita spinach use is strongest among Asians, highest among women 40 and older, and weakest among teenage girls.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: December 2003

    VGS-300, December 18, 2003

    Total potato production for the 2003 crop year is forecast at 457 million cwt-down less than 1 percent from 2002. Despite the slight drop in production, however, U.S. grower prices for all potatoes have averaged 19 percent below a year ago and 14 percent below 2 years ago for the September - November period. These lower early-season grower prices, combined with lower retail prices for potatoes and frozen french fries, may be a reflection of weaker demand for potatoes and potato products.

  • 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.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: June 2003

    VGS-297, June 20, 2003

    Per capita consumption of all vegetables and melons (on a fresh-equivalent basis) is expected to increase 1 percent to 445 pounds in 2003--up about 6 pounds from 2002. Gains are expected to be spread across fresh and processing items, led by potatoes, tomatoes, and sweet corn. In 2002, per capita vegetable and melon use fell about 2 pounds to 439 pounds as lower fresh-market vegetable and potato consumption outweighed increased canning and freezing use. Despite the decline in total fresh-market use in 2002, fresh-market tomatoes reached a record-high 18.3 pounds per person, while cucumber, onion, and cantaloup use were the second-highest on record.

  • Factors Affecting U.S. Mushroom Consumption

    VGS-29501, March 31, 2003

    U.S. mushroom consumption has been increasing over the past several decades. Basic knowledge of the distribution of mushroom consumption across different market channels, geographic regions, and population groups has been very limited in the past. Using data from USDA's 1994-96 and 1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, this article examines the consumption distribution of fresh-market and processed mushrooms in the United States. The analysis indicates that per capita mushroom consumption is greatest in the West and Midwest. A little more than half of fresh-market mushrooms are purchased at retail and consumed at home, while three-fourths of processed mushrooms are consumed at home. Per capita mushroom use is highest among men and women aged 20-39, and weakest for children under the age of 12.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: February 2003

    VGS-295, February 25, 2003

    Planted area for spring-season onions is expected to decline 12 percent to 34,400 acres. Plantings are down in three of the four reporting States with Texas (down 23 percent) expecting the largest decline. Although area planted is forecast lower, production could exceed the short 2002 crop of 9.7 million hundredweight (cwt), if yields in Texas and Georgia improve and harvested area in Georgia recovers from the disease-induced losses of a year ago.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2002

    VGS-292, August 22, 2002

    The first estimate for the 2002 dry edible bean crop indicates a 39-percent increase from a year ago. Harvested area and per-acre yields are both expected to increase. U.S. dry edible bean growers reacted to depleted stocks and the highest prices in a decade by increasing area for harvest to 1.69 million acres-up 36 percent from a year earlier but 2 percent below the average of the previous 10 years. Harvested area was expected to be up in four of the top five States, with drought reducing area in Colorado 19 percent. During the first 11 months of 2001/02, grower prices for dry beans averaged 52 percent above a year ago. However, prices for many bean classes have begun to weaken in anticipation of increased production this season.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: April 2002

    VGS-290, April 18, 2002

    According to preliminary ERS estimates, per capita vegetable and melon use (consumption) declined 1 percent in 2001 to 448 pounds. Fresh-market use (excluding potatoes) was unchanged at 173 pounds while freezing (down 1 percent) and canning (down 3 percent) use were lower. Per capita use of potatoes, the largest vegetable category, increased 1 percent to 140 pounds, reflecting lower prices stemming from the record-large 2000 fall potato crop. The forecast for 2002 suggests that per capita vegetable and melon use will rise 1 percent led by increased use of processing vegetables.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: December 2001

    VGS-288, December 14, 2001

    The November 2001 estimate of U.S. fall-season potato production is 401 million hundredweight (cwt). When added to the winter, spring, and summer potato crops, this places total production for the 2001 crop year at 442 million cwt, 14 percent below a year ago. In response to reduced production, U.S. shipping-point (grower) prices for all potatoes have averaged 32 percent higher than a year ago for September through November. Prices received by growers for this period were higher than a year ago throughout the country, with some of the largest percentage gains in Colorado (up 126 percent) and California (46 percent). Some other major growing areas realizing higher grower prices are Idaho (up 42 percent), Washington (24 percent), North Dakota (14 percent), and Maine (8 percent).

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2001

    VGS-285, August 21, 2001

    This summer (largely July-September 2001), fresh-market vegetable and melon area for harvest is forecast to rise 2 percent from a year ago. Increased acreage is a reflection of stronger grower prices since last summer. California, accounting for 50 percent of this year's summer-season area, increased acreage 3 percent. New York, the second leading summer-season producer, with 11 percent of acreage, expects to harvest 5 percent more area than a year ago despite an unusually cool, wet spring which hindered planting.

  • Recent Changes in Marketing and Trade Practices in the U.S. Lettuce and Fresh-Cut Vegetable Industries

    AIB-767, May 01, 2001

    This report investigates how retail consolidation, changes in technology, and increased consumer demand for convenience, product diversity, and year-round availability have all influenced shipper-retailer relations in the lettuce and fresh-cut vegetable industries.

  • The Spice Market in the United States: Recent Developments and Prospects

    AIB-709, July 03, 1995

    On both a volume and value basis, the United States is the world's largest spice importer and consumer, with both imports and consumption on an uptrend for the past 10 years. While the United States imports more than 40 separate spices, seven of these (vanilla beans, black and white pepper, capsicums, sesame seed, cinnamon, mustard, and oregano) account for more than 75 percent of the total annual value of spice imports. While the United States imports spices from more than 50 countries, 5 of these countries (Indonesia, Mexico, India, Canada, and China) regularly account for one-half of the annual value of spice imports. The United States produces nearly 40 percent of its annual spice needs, with imports supplying the remainder. Growing domestic production consists of capsicum peppers, mustard seed, dehydrated onion and garlic, and herbs. U.S. spice exports have also been expanding in recent years, led by dehydrated garlic and onion. Rising domestic use of spices reflects growing Hispanic and Asian populations, a trend toward the use of spices to compensate for less salt and lower fat levels in foods, and heightened popularity of ethnic foods from Asia and Latin America.