Study Shows Fresh Produce Is A Bargain

Fresh produce is not only good for you, but it’s a bargain too, according to new research from Produce Marketing Association. Specifically, it costs U.S. shoppers on average only $2.18 to get the recommended nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables – 28 cents for a serving of fruit and 21 cents for a serving of vegetables. The value-conscious consumer can get that nine-serving cost down to 88 cents – positioning fresh produce as the affordable, natural “value meal.”

The PMA-commissioned study by The Perishables Group provides the produce industry with the facts and figures needed to correct consumer misperceptions about produce prices. Findings published in The Cost of the Recommended Daily Servings of Fresh Produce confirm fresh produce is a good buy year-round, while also packing a nutritional punch.

“We’re thrilled that our industry can help shoppers understand that eating healthfully can be cost-effective, even on a budget, thus driving demand for fresh produce,” said PMA President & CEO Bryan Silbermann. “This study confirms that fresh produce is a good buy year-round and debunks high-profile claims that fresh produce is expensive.”

This first national study of its kind reviewed retail sales data to calculate average consumer costs across the country and throughout the year to achieve the nine servings per day recommended for an average adult. Researchers determined that consumers buying produce at everyday prices spent a national average of $2.18 per day to purchase five servings of vegetables (2.5 cups) and four servings of fruit (2 cups). Savvy shoppers can do even better: Budget-minded consumers shopping sales and promotions can save nearly 60% (spending only 88 cents for nine servings).

Researchers analyzed point-of-sale sales data for all fresh fruits and vegetables at the store level, by week and by item during third and fourth quarters of 2009 and the first and second quarters of 2010. The study’s findings report on average prices for the total U.S, and east, central, south, and west regions. Actual prices could be even lower, researchers report, depending upon where consumers are shopping. These prices were fairly consistent across seasons and regions.

The study found that many of the most common fruits and vegetables are good buys; six of the top 10 most common fruits appeared in “value shopper” baskets, and nine of the top 10 most common vegetables. Nationally, the least expensive fruit servings were watermelon, bananas, apples, pears and peaches, averaging less than 28 cents per serving. Cabbage, potatoes, eggplant, lettuce/salad, prepared cooking greens, cauliflower, summer squash, and carrots rung up less than the average 21 cents per serving for vegetables.

“This research is a boon for our industry on many levels, giving us a platform to talk to consumers and policy makers about the value of healthful fresh produce,” said Kathy Means, PMA vice president of government relations and public affairs. “We’ll certainly be using this research in PMA’s work with legislators, regulators, administrators and public health influencers. In fact, USDA recently released research that mirrors PMA’s own. However it covers all forms of fruits and vegetables, not just fresh produce.”

The PMA report’s detailed information gives produce suppliers and retailers a bounty of new fact-based outreach and promotional opportunities to help consumers shop and prepare meals affordably and healthfullywith fresh fruits and vegetables – for example on websites, in social media forums, on packaging, in point-of-sale materials, in store and on ad.

The full report is available free to members on PMA’s website (www.pma.com). To learn more about becoming a PMA member visit the Membership Center. To stay current with PMA’s government relations and public affairs endeavors, visit the Field to Fork blogwhere anyone can join the conversation about important issues like this.

Source: Produce Marketing Association

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
2017 Florida Strawberry Picking Challenge winners
Berries
February 22, 2017
Florida Strawberry Picking Contest a Big Winner for Charity
Fourth-annual fundraising event brings in more than $100,000 to benefit children of local farmworkers. Read More
Florida potato field in bloom.
Citrus
February 22, 2017
New Insecticide Available to Combat Sucking, Chewing Pests
Minecto Pro from Syngenta has received EPA approval for use in specialty and vegetable crops to control lepidopteran and other pests. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Farms Get Bigger Even as the Number of Farms Decline
A new report from USDA shows long-term trends continuing: fewer farms and fewer acres used in farming even as individual operations get bigger on average. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Wild Bee Populations Are out of Sync With Crop Needs
Some crops most dependent on pollinators, including pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, apples and blueberries, appeared to have the strongest pollination mismatch. Read More
Basic tractor on the horizon
Citrus
February 22, 2017
Skilled Labor Needed to Keep Agriculture Growing [Opinion]
Even with the challenge of feeding a growing global population at hand, has focus been lost on recruiting where jobs on the farm are need most? Read More
Cartoon sketch of a citrus seed machine
Varieties & Rootstocks
February 22, 2017
Citrus Nurseries Analyze the Need for Seed
It seems many growers are more certain about their scion choices than they are about available rootstocks. Read More
Food Safety Modernization Act moving at snail's pace
Food Safety
February 21, 2017
Food Safety Modernization Act Creeping Forward
Massive regulatory overhaul unfolds as the specialty crop industry hopes to ensure common-sense food safety rules and inspection. Read More
Apples & Pears
February 21, 2017
Snow Doesn’t Stop Day 1 of IFTA Conference
While the Wenatchee, WA, area has experienced higher-than expected snowfall, tour-goers trudge on to learn the latest about advanced production systems and high-value apple varieties. Read More
Grapes
February 18, 2017
Sustainability Is a Growing Factor in Wine Purchasing
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance updates certification program, shows sustainability is important part of wine trade. Read More
citrus psyllid closeup
Insect & Disease Update
February 18, 2017
The War on Citrus Psyllids Still Raging
Despite control challenges, keeping the pest in check remains the best approach to managing HLB. Read More
The Latest
Berries
February 22, 2017
Florida Strawberry Picking Contest a Big…
Fourth-annual fundraising event brings in more than $100,000 to benefit children of local farmworkers. Read More
Citrus
February 22, 2017
New Insecticide Available to Combat Suck…
Minecto Pro from Syngenta has received EPA approval for use in specialty and vegetable crops to control lepidopteran and other pests. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Farms Get Bigger Even as the Number of F…
A new report from USDA shows long-term trends continuing: fewer farms and fewer acres used in farming even as individual operations get bigger on average. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Wild Bee Populations Are out of Sync Wit…
Some crops most dependent on pollinators, including pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, apples and blueberries, appeared to have the strongest pollination mismatch. Read More
Citrus
February 22, 2017
Skilled Labor Needed to Keep Agriculture…
Even with the challenge of feeding a growing global population at hand, has focus been lost on recruiting where jobs on the farm are need most? Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
February 22, 2017
Citrus Nurseries Analyze the Need for Se…
It seems many growers are more certain about their scion choices than they are about available rootstocks. Read More
Food Safety
February 21, 2017
Food Safety Modernization Act Creeping F…
Massive regulatory overhaul unfolds as the specialty crop industry hopes to ensure common-sense food safety rules and inspection. Read More
Apples & Pears
February 21, 2017
Snow Doesn’t Stop Day 1 of IFTA Conferen…
While the Wenatchee, WA, area has experienced higher-than expected snowfall, tour-goers trudge on to learn the latest about advanced production systems and high-value apple varieties. Read More
Grapes
February 18, 2017
Sustainability Is a Growing Factor in Wi…
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance updates certification program, shows sustainability is important part of wine trade. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
February 18, 2017
The War on Citrus Psyllids Still Raging
Despite control challenges, keeping the pest in check remains the best approach to managing HLB. Read More
Citrus
February 17, 2017
How Precision Agriculture Is Helping Far…
New Florida-based organization is seeking to break down barriers between farmers and shoppers by providing a platform to not only show what is grown, but how it's grown. Read More
Grapes
February 17, 2017
Washington Organization Rebrands Itself
Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers unveils new identity at convention, now known as Washington Winegrowers Association. Read More
Berries
February 17, 2017
Florida Blueberry Growers Counting on a …
With last season's disaster in the rear view, all eyes are searching for bluer skies. Read More
Equipment
February 17, 2017
Wanted: Tech Innovators for Drone Challe…
Land O'Lakes Prize offers up $150,000 to help make drones more useable for farmers Read More
Fruits
February 17, 2017
Are Drones the Future of Pollination?
Researchers in Japan have turned drones into robot bees as artificial pollinators. Read More
GenNext Growers
February 16, 2017
Young Start-Up Hort Tech Companies Honor…
Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology Scholarships promote sustainability. Read More
GenNext Growers
February 16, 2017
Young Farmer Success Act Reintroduced to…
Bill to add young growers to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Read More
Fruits
February 16, 2017
New App Helps Fruit Growers Calculate Ch…
App helps growers calculate chill hours based on locations and models and assess physiological needs of fruit crops. Read More