What have been the “hottest” fresh produce items in the past 25 years?

I’m glad you asked because today we are going to review the biggest fresh produce gainers in retail per capita availability over the quarter century (more or less).

Of course, this “look-back” exercise is tangential to The Packer’s current work toward our 125th-anniversary publication later this year.

Based on reading everyman's investor prospectus, we know that “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” The same truth may certainly apply to fresh produce, though we also say that “an object in motion tends to remain in motion.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s per capita numbers show the top fresh fruit percentage gains from 1993 to 2016 were:

  • Raspberries: +1,424.55%
  • Blueberries: +574.17%
  • Avocados: +430.25%
  • Papayas: +411.10%;
  • Limes: +264.73%
  • Pineapples: +257.20%;
  • Mangoes: +232.88%;
  • Tangerines/tangelos: +183.05%;
  • Cherries: +172.90%; and
  • Strawberries: +122.44%.

 

The biggest percentage per capita gains for fresh vegetables, as reported by the USDA, from 1992 to 2018, were:

  • Asparagus: +195%;
  • Romaine/leaf lettuce: 163%.
  • Broccoli: +74%;
  • Cucumbers: +62%;
  • Bell peppers: +57%;
  • Sweet potatoes: +36%;
  • Cauliflower: +35%;
  • Tomatoes: +33%; and
  • Fresh onions: +27%;
 
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