Fruit and Vegetable Prices –

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How much do fruits and vegetables cost? The USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) estimated average prices for more than 150 commonly consumed fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Reported estimates include each product’s average retail price and price per edible cup equivalent (the unit of measurement for Federal recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption). Average retail prices are reported per pound or per pint. For many fruits and vegetables, a 1-cup equivalent equals the weight of enough edible food to fill a measuring cup. ERS calculated average prices at retail stores using 2013, 2016, and 2020 retail scanner data from Circana (formerly Information Resources Inc. [IRI]). A selection of retail establishments—grocery stores, supermarkets, supercenters, convenience stores, drug stores, and liquor stores—across the U.S. provides Circana with weekly retail sales data (revenue and quantity).
ERS reports average prices per edible cup equivalent to inform policymakers and nutritionists about how much money it costs U.S. households to eat a sufficient quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables. Every five years the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services release a new version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans with information about how individuals can achieve a healthy diet. However, the average consumer falls short in meeting these recommendations. Many people consume too many calories from refined grains, solid fats, and added sugars, and do not eat enough whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Are food prices a barrier to eating a healthy diet? ERS research using this data set examines the quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables that a household can afford with a limited budget. See:
The Cost of Satisfying Fruit and Vegetable Recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines
For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Households, Fruit and Vegetable Affordability Is Partly a Question of Budgeting
Americans Still Can Meet Fruit and Vegetable Dietary Guidelines for $2.10-$2.60 per Day
ERS fruit and vegetable prices are updated periodically to coincide with the release of each version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. When generating estimates using 2013, 2016, 2020 data, ERS researchers priced similar fruit and vegetable products each year. However, because of different methods for coding the underlying Circana data, the entry of new products into the market, the exit of old products from the market, and other factors, the data are not suitable for making year-to-year comparisons. These data should not be used for making inferences about price changes over time.
For data on retail food price trends, see the ERS Food Price Outlook (FPO). The FPO provides food price data and forecasts changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) for food.
For additional data on food costs, see the ERS Purchase to Plate (PP-Suite). The PP-Suite reports a U.S. household’s costs to consume other categories of foods in addition to fruits and vegetables, such as meats, seafood, and cereal and bakery products. Food groupings in the PP-Suite are based on the USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS). This allows users to import price estimates for foods found in USDA dietary survey data. FNDDS food groupings are broader than the specific food products priced for constructing this data product. They also include both conventional and organic products. For example, the PP-Suite average price to consume broccoli purchased raw is the average price paid for organic and conventional heads, crowns, and florets. By contrast, this data product distinguishes and separately reports the average costs to consume conventional raw broccoli purchased as heads and florets.
Last updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2023
For more information, contact: Hayden Stewart and Jeffrey Hyman


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