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Limes, lemons and tangerines drove 2007-18 growth in fresh citrus availability in US

In 2018, the total supply of fresh citrus fruits available for Americans to eat—after adjusting for spoilage, plate waste, and other losses in food stores, restaurants, and households—was 8.0 pounds per person.

From 1970 to 2018, loss-adjusted per person availability of oranges and grapefruit fell by 51 and 84 percent, respectively, while availability of other citrus fruits grew—lemons, for example, doubled; limes increased by 22 times. Year-to-year changes in availability of citrus fruits reflect production swings due to weather events, citrus diseases, changes in import or export volumes, and other factors.


Click here for a larger image.

Longer term trends, however, are usually driven by changes in consumer demand. For example, skipping breakfast is likely to reduce demand for fresh oranges and grapefruit. Grapefruit takes more effort to eat, especially when compared with easy-to-peel citrus fruits such as tangerines that are sweet in taste and smaller in size.

The popularity of Hispanic, Asian, and other cuisines that use lemons and limes could be contributing to higher demand for these fruits.

Source: ers.usda.gov


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