Fresh Fruit Consumption in the US - 1980 to 2016

Week 19 Dataset and Historical Background

Posted by David Velleca on July 8, 2018

Historical Background

This week, we're looking at fresh fruit consumption in the United States. The local fruit stands in the St. Louis area are loaded up with their best selection of the summer so far, and many of them have large chalk boards advertising home grown tomatoes and local peaches. One of my co-workers was talking about taking advantage of the nice weather forecast for this weekend, and going to the you pick peach orchards in the area. All of this got me thinking about looking at trends in fresh fruit consumption in the U.S.

Our data this week comes from the United States Department of Agriculture's Fruit and Tree Nut Yearbook. We talked briefly about the history of the USDA back in Week 9 when we looked at cereal crop production. We'll skip over that history, but give some background on the Fruit and Tree Nut Yearbook.

This yearbook is a collection of more than 180 tables containing data about the production, pricing, crop valuation, consumption and more for at least 20 years worth of data on various fruits and nuts. This annual report provides a wealth of information on the health of the fruit and nut crops and markets in the U.S., and is used like the other commodity reports by farmers, fruit and nut buyers and the government.

There's not very much information on the history of the yearbook, but based on the age of the oldest data, it appears that it got its start back in the late 1970s. The number and types of tables has grown over the years in an effort to provide the most pertinent data.

If you'd like to explore this dataset and create your own viz, publish your work to Tableau Public, and Twitter with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday, tagging @TThrowbackThurs. We'd really love to see what you can come up with!

Data Source

The dataset this week was sourced from Wikipedia. Please be sure to cite the source on your viz.