The results of the study weren’t too surprising, considering the targeted nutrition education work in California, said Roberta Cook, economist at the University of California-Davis.
Other industry data shows higher expenditures of fruits and vegetables in the Western U.S. than other regions, she said.
In 2008, data shows that expenditures in Western U.S. household — weighted heavily by California — were $743 per household per year for fruits and vegetables. That compares with a national average of $628 per household per year, Cook said.
Reasons for optimism
Despite a tough economy, Foerster said there is room for continued optimism in California, thanks to programs available in other states:
- Fruit and vegetable vouchers for the Women, Infants and Children program, aimed at low-income residents;
- Improvement in school nutrition programs in schools beginning in 2012-13; and
- The half a plate nutrition message from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Regional marketing of fruits and vegetables is also appealing to many consumers, Foerster said.