As the production of food becomes more refined over time, with more groceries being supplied more easily for a burgeoning population, there have followed plenty of trends and eating habits. This has mostly been due to changing consumer demand of the past fifty years, which have seen the products line-up of standard grocery stores balloon from just 9,000 items in the 1970s to almost 50,000 items today. Such an expanded inventory means a far more diverse and vibrant range of fruits and vegetables to choose from, as stores can now provide at least five different kinds of apple where once there would only be that many kinds of fruit on offer, period. But thanks to advancements in transport, infrastructure, and worldwide trade links, American consumers are able to enjoy a year-round assortment of exotic goods or fruits that may not even be in-season in their own part of the world.
In fact, imported fruits account for an enormous portion of natural goods in the US, with an estimated 50% of all produce sold having been imported from elsewhere. Shoppers can now enjoy not only a wider array of different fruits and vegetables, but can even have some say in the conditions under which it was grown and how far it has travelled. Yet this trend for locally-sourced organic produce has been something of a long time coming, as regulations determining what goods are and aren’t strictly “organic” hadn't come into effect until as late as 2002.
Even within the last 20 years, then, consumer demand for quality control has shaped the economic and environmental landscape of the US – but a love of fruit has remained a trusted stalwart of the food industry. Americans do love their fruit, but what is the most popular piece out there?
America’s best-loved fruit earned its top spot thanks to the convenience it offers, as well as its versatility. Easy to store in a lunch box or at the bottom of a backpack, the banana is a great snack to be enjoyed on the go, thanks to its high concentration of natural fructose and quick-release energy. Bananas are also well known for their mood-enhancing qualities, thanks to the high levels of tryptophan found in each one, a kind of protein that the body then converts into serotonin. No matter whether they’re green, yellow, or brown, bananas can be used to ripen the other fruits around them, as a healthy snack, or the basis of banana bread, meaning there’s always plenty to smile about when enjoying a banana.
Taking the #2 spot is the fruit that can be enjoyed in 7,500 different varieties, with a quarter of those being harvested in the US, as apples are grown in all 50 states. No surprise, then, that American consumers go through more than 45 pounds of fresh and processed apple products every year, giving their diet a fresh burst of the sweet, sour, and sometimes bitter taste of nature’s best naturally occurring antioxidant. This crunchy multi-colored fruit, available in green, red, yellow, and a whole heap of shades in between, is also high in fructose but low in calories, with just one half-cup of sliced apple measured at less than 50 calories. Combined with their high concentrations of fiber, their absence of fat or cholesterol, and a healthy dose of vitamin C, the apple’s place as the second-most consumed fruit in America is a title well-deserved.
Sweet, vibrant, and the heart of breakfast cereals and baked goods the world over, strawberries can always be relied on to add an extra kick of flavor to just about any meal. Diced up and sprinkled over your muesli or thrown into a smoothie for some added color, strawberries aren’t just a healthy snack: they are loaded with health benefits that will make you think a little more highly of this sweet red fruit. Rich in antioxidants and other compounds known to aid heart health and regulate blood sugar levels, there’s a lot more to be said of strawberries than just the decoration on your birthday cake or the flavor of your favorite jelly.
Taking our #4 spot are the crisp, juicy fruits you can pluck off the vine and pop into your mouth for a crisp burst of sharp flavor. The basis of one of the world’s oldest and most symbolic beverages – wine – grapes are also deeply linked to ritual and celebration in numerous cultures across the globe, as a symbol of prosperity in the status it has enjoyed for thousands of years as the juice of the gods. On top of their high nutrient content, grapes are also loaded with vitamins C and K, which are vital for the body’s connective tissue heath and blood clotting, to allow for fast recoveries from cuts and injuries.
Beloved by soccer coaches as the ultimate half-time snack, oranges are the intensely sweet, spherical fruit that is the go-to cure for colds and sniffles, thanks to their famously high concentration of vitamin C. With an aromatic rind that can be used as the perfect zest for just about any cake, and packed with delicious juice beloved by baristas and toddlers the world over, oranges are right at home from the smallest of fruit bowls to the busiest of hip cafés and juice bars.
In the past few years, numerous studies have shown that consumers are buying more of their groceries based on its quality; among the entire line up of a store’s fresh food, vegetables and fruits have been taking top priority. Not only do stores that stock consistently high-quality, organic produce win more return customers than those stores that don’t value fresher, more eco-conscious products, but customers are reportedly more willing to pay higher premiums for better-quality produce. But while we care about fresh, nutritious ingredients more than just about anything else, we don’t believe it needs to cost an arm and a leg.
At Buffalo Market, we pride ourselves on the long-lasting, valuable relationships we nurture with small-scale farmers all across California. This not only supports local economy, with every cent going back to the farmers who supply us with premium, market-quality goods, but it also means that we can provide your kitchens with the best food at the most competitive prices. With over 2,600 items on sale today, why not see how you can get more organic produce into your diet – and up your consumption of some America’s most beloved fruits. There are plenty of reasons to love bananas, but now you can enjoy the wide range of apples, oranges, strawberries and other sweet fruits we have on sale right now, too.