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

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

CitrusHarness The Marketing Power Of Video
September 1, 2014
Multimedia platform is an effective and inexpensive marketing tool for you to attract new customers and keep existing ones loyal to your brand. Read More
Citrus Achievement AwardDespite Industry Challenges, Florida Citrus Leader Has …
September 1, 2014
2014 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Mike Sparks feels confident in crop sector's ability to regain strength. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFood Safety Modernization Act Is On The Plate
September 1, 2014
Florida Ag Expo agenda to serve up important features of looming regulations. Read More
CEU SeriesCEU Series: Put Weeds Out To Pasture
September 1, 2014
No matter where they are, plants out of place can be problematic. Read More
TomatoesProduction Reaches An All-Time High For Processing Toma…
August 29, 2014
A record high is predicted for the 2014 processing tomato crop. Read More
CitrusFlorida Department Of Citrus Knocks NPR Piece Over Juic…
August 28, 2014
Agency goes to bat for the industry regarding statement slighting OJ's health benefits. Read More
Disease ControlLate Blight Update Reveals Heightened Activity
August 28, 2014
While several states in the Northeast have confirmed the presence of late blight, the disease has not been reported in North Dakota or Minnesota. Read More
CitrusFlorida Energy Firm Charged Up About Citrus Biomass Pot…
August 28, 2014
Machine called a game-changer when it comes to a cost-effective, efficient way for tree removal and re-purposing. Read More
EquipmentNew Tractors Improve Maneuverability And Operator Contr…
August 28, 2014
The Magnum Rowtrac tractors from Case IH meet growers’ cropping needs through a wide variety of row spacing and belt options.   Read More
NutsCalifornia County Passes Ordinance To Protect Walnut Gr…
August 27, 2014
Verification of ownership needed to complete sales of valuable nuts. Read More
NutsAlmond Growers Hit By Russian Import Limits
August 27, 2014
Growers reflect on changes to export market in light of produce ban. Read More
Farm ManagementLeadership And Management Expert To Speak At California…
August 27, 2014
Daniel Goleman will make presentation at California State University-Fresno. Read More
CitrusNational Scientific Summit On Herbicide Resistant Weeds…
August 27, 2014
Topics to be covered include the economics of proactively managing herbicide resistance, education and outreach efforts, and incentives and regulatory initiatives. Read More
FruitsFlorida Organic Group Dedicated To Serving Growers, Com…
August 27, 2014
Education and development programs are plentiful for interested producers. Read More
VegetablesExperimental Herbicide Technology Blasts Weeds In Rows
August 27, 2014
The technology uses an air compressor to spray corncob grit on both sides of a crop, killing young weeds. Read More
Disease ControlFungal Disease Outbreak Hits Pacific Northwest Vegetabl…
August 27, 2014
An outbreak of blackleg, light leaf spot, and white leaf spot can be significant problems in several vegetable crops.   Read More
CitrusClean Water Conundrum: Ditch The Rule Or Ditch The Myth…
August 26, 2014
Regulation inundation causing a rising tide of confusion for farmers. Read More
BerriesMichigan State University Extension Offers Tips To Prev…
August 26, 2014
Humidity, rainy periods conducive to disease development. Read More