Posts Tagged “prepackaged salads”

Fresh Fruit Has Per Capita Growth; Study Shows Berries Salads Lead Organic Produce Consumption

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DSCN0252New data is shedding light on where increased U.S. per capita consumption is coming from with fruit.  Also, organic produce continues to show increasing popularity

Apples, some citrus varieties, blueberries and tropical fruit, have given a boost to U.S. fresh fruit per capita use, which grew a strong 3 percent in 2016.

The USDA’s fruit yearbook report revealed that total fresh fruit per capita consumption in 2016 was rated at 116.05 pounds, up 3 percent from 112.5 pounds in 2015.

2016 fresh citrus per capita use rose 6 percent to 24.02 pounds, up from 22.73 pounds in 2016.  Fresh non-citrus per capita use was pegged at 92.03 pounds, 2 percent higher than 89.81 pounds in 2015.

2016 per capita use of fresh fruit commodities, with percent changed compared with 2015:

  • Lemons, 4.15 pounds (+15%);
  • Limes, 3.48 pounds (+15%);
  • Mangoes, 2.96 (+14%);
  • Blueberries, 1.77 pounds (+10%);
  • Papayas, 1.43 pounds (+8%);
  • Apples, 18.55 pounds (+7%);
  • Oranges, 9.17 pounds (+6%);
  • Pineapples, 7.28 pounds (+4%);
  • Strawberries, 8.03 pounds (+4%);
  • Pears, 2.76 (+4%);
  • Grapes, 8.08 pounds (+3%);
  • Tangerines, 5.28 pounds (+1%);
  • Avocados, 7.08 pounds (-2%);
  • Bananas, 27.55 pounds (-2%);
  • Peaches, 2.86 (-5%); and
  • Grapefruit, 1.94 pounds (-13%)

Study Shows Growth of Organics

A  Nielsen Co. study shows organic produce grew 9 percent in dollars year-over-year and represented a 10 percent share of total produce as of last summer.

Consumers are said to be buying larger packages of organic berries, instead of smaller containers such as pints.  Increase they are buying more 18-ounce to 2-pound containers.

Prepackaged salads continue to lead organic sales, with 3 percent year-on-year growth in 2017.

Consumers continue to seek out healthy meal alternatives such as kale, colored carrots, green cabbage and broccoli, with a mix of flavors and textures.  Lettuce and berries continue to dominate the organic sales, combining for nearly a 30 percent sales increase in the U.S.

Apples and spinach are the next largest organic categories, with 9 and 8 pecent of sales.

Overall, only 14 categories make up 80 percent of organic produce sales, compared to 20 categories within the conventional space.

Such commodities as limes, cherries, beets, avocados, beans and lemons had 20 to 30 percent growth over the previous year, even though those items account for only 4 pecent of organic produce sales.

Larger categories also are growing. Among those, organic berries grew 29 percent year over year.  Blackberries and blueberries are growing at a quicker rate (46 and 35 percent, respectively) than strawberries (26 percent). Organic bananas and apples are also growing, at 18 and 12 percent, respectively.

In Washington state, there is projected to be 50 percent more organic apples over the next season, an increase another 100 percent over the next two years.  Apples are considered one of the easier crops to grow organically.

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Toxic Beetles are Reported in Packaged Salads

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BeetleA public warning has been issued by Canadian officials about consumers having found toxic iron cross blister beetles in prepackaged salads.  The warning otherwise is very vague, except to say that there haven’t been any confirmed illnesses or injuries.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the warning May 29th, but does not say what country the pre-packaged salads are from or what grower or shipper distributed them.  The warning also does not say where the salads were distributed.

“Fresh produce can harbor insects that may be injurious to consumers, but this is rare,” according to the CFIA’s warning.

“The iron cross blister beetle is very distinctively colored, with a bright red head and bright yellow markings on the wings, separated by a black cross. This particular beetle should be treated with caution as it may release an irritating chemical called cantharidin. This chemical may cause blisters at the point of contact.”

The CFIA advises consumers to wash and visually inspect leafy vegetables and remove beetles without touching or crushing them. The warning requests that anyone who finds a beetle to report it to the local CFIA office.

The iron cross blister beetle is generally found in the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico, according to information from the University of California-Davis department of entomology website. Also known as soldier beetles because of their habit of traveling in single-file lines, they are found primarily in late spring and early summer, according to the website, and often occur in immense feeding and mating aggregations.

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