How Much Do Fruits and Vegetables Cost?

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Federal dietary guidance advises Americans to consume more vegetables and fruits because most Americans do not consume the recommended quantities or variety. Food prices, along with taste, convenience, income, and awareness of the link between diet and health, shape food choices. We used 2008 Nielsen Homescan data to estimate the average price at retail stores of a pound and an edible cup equivalent (or, for juices, a pint and an edible cup equivalent) of 153 commonly consumed fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. We found that average prices ranged from less than 20 cents per edible cup equivalent to more than $2 per edible cup equivalent. We also found that, in 2008, an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (amounts and variety) at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per edible cup equivalent.

Authors: 
Hayden Stewart
Authors: 
Jeffrey Hyman
Authors: 
Jean C. Buzby
Authors: 
Elizabeth Frazão
Authors: 
Andrea Carlson
Publisher: 
USDA Economic Research Service
Year: 
2011