US Purchases of Imported Food Doubled in 10 Yrs.
From the USDA study "U.S. Food Import Patterns, 1998-2007":
Using import data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this study examines patterns of U.S. food imports for fiscal years 1998-2007. Results indicate faster import growth trends for consumer-ready foods, such as fruit, vegetables, meats, seafood, and processed food products.
U.S. food consumers are increasingly demanding greater variety, quality, and convenience in the food they consume. As Americans become wealthier and more ethnically diverse, the American food basket reflects a growing share of tropical products, spices, and imported gourmet products.
While the globalized food industry offers U.S. consumers a more affordable array of diverse food products year round, it also increases access for developing countries, such as China, India, and countries in Central America, which have registered rapid export growth.
Growing U.S. consumer demand for increased variety in their diet and more healthful products may have contributed to growth in imports of many tropical products, such as spices, fruits, vegetables, green tea, and unsaturated oils.
U.S. food imports grew rapidly, from $41 billion in 1998 to nearly $78 billion in 2007. Across all food product categories, such as grains, meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables, sugar and sweeteners, import growth was greater among value-added products than among raw commodities. While bulk commodity imports grew at a rate of 14 percent between 1998 and 2007, consumer-ready food products grew over 100 percent (see chart above).
MP: Because of globalization and free trade, Americans now have greater access to an increasing variety of imported foods, at a lower cost than ever before, and with increased health benefits. As the chart above shows, consumer-ready imported food products doubled between 1998 and 2007, from $30 billion to $60 billion. Just another example of how international trade and globalization improve our lives.
Originally posted at Carpe Diem.