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Friday, March 16, 2007

On carrot consumption

This USDA report on carrots points out a few things that I didn't know.

First, 34% of the world's production of carrots occurs in China; the United States accounts for 7% of world production.

Second, something happened in the early 1990s to make carrots much more popular. The early part of the 1990s witnessed a dramatic uptick in carrot consumption relative to the surrounding years, so much so that the decade average of total per-capita consumption is dramatically larger (see table repeated below). I wonder what happened - was it a demand or supply side shock?

Decade averages:
Year Fresh Processing
market All Canning Freezing Total
1960s 6.76 1.72 .81 .91 8.48
1970s 6.16 3.64 2.00 1.64 9.80
1980s 6.85 3.23 1.27 1.96 10.08
1990s 10.92 4.00 1.42 2.58 14.92
2000s 8.91 3.21 1.49 1.72 12.12
1994 12.68 4.23 1.44 2.79 16.91
1995 11.19 4.21 1.63 2.58 15.40
1996 12.37 4.55 1.72 2.83 16.92
1997 14.11 4.05 1.48 2.57 18.16
1998 9.53 4.21 1.45 2.76 13.74
1999 9.25 3.82 1.38 2.44 13.07
Pounds per person per year, fresh-equivalent

Comments:
Hi

As I recall it was the "invention" and promotion of baby carrots in the US which seemed to catch the public's imagination in the early 90's.

They are of course usually baby cut carrots - i.e. manufactured from larger ones.

More at the World Carrot Museum.
 
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