The Expanding U.S. Market for Fresh Produce
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The U.S. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion urges consumers to eat between five and nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. Not all consumers are reaching that goal, but per capita consumption of fresh produce is steadily increasing (see Figure 1). Between 1980 and 2001, per capita consumption of fresh fruits increased by 19 percent and consumption of vegetables (including potatoes) increased by 29 percent. At the same time, new technologies to extend shelf life and new trade agreements have increasingly allowed imports of fresh produce to fill gaps where domestic supplies are too small and domestic products are out of season.