In recent years, fresh cauliflower consumption in the United States has experienced a significant rebound. According to data from the Department of Agriculture, US cauliflower imports have doubled in value in the last three years, going from $40 million in 2016 to $80 million in 2019, increasing by 25% each year.
In 2019, availability per capita in the United States rose by 21%, to a record of 3.0 pounds (1.36 kg), as both domestic production (8%) and imports increased.
In volume, imports of fresh cauliflower increased by 34% in 2019, with an increase in volume from both Mexico (which accounts for 74% of imports) and Canada.
Cauliflower and other vegetable imports
Last year was the sixth year in a row that the import volume grew, and by 2020 the United States could become a net importer of fresh cauliflower for the first time.
In 2019, total US per capita vegetable use (availability) increased by 2% to 409 pounds (185.5 kg). With the exception of pulse crops, all major categories exhibited increases.
The availability of pulse crops fell by 23%, as the production of pinto and white beans decreased; while the area devoted to producing chickpeas and lentils was drastically reduced.
Recovering from a 6% drop in 2018, fresh market availability of vegetables (including potatoes) increased by 4% to 198 pounds (89.8 kg) in 2019.
In fact, the availability of 16 of the top 25 vegetables in the fresh market increased, driven largely by the increases in spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, green beans, and potatoes.