A fruit is any seed-bearing structure produced from a flowering plant. A widely used classification system divides fruit into fleshy or dry types. Fleshy fruits are juicy and include peaches, mangos, apples, and blueberries. Dry fruits include tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans. Some foods that are commonly called vegetables, such as tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant, are technically fruits because they develop from the ovary of a flower.
Worldwide, over 430 million tons of fruit are produced each year and are grown everywhere except the Arctic and the Antarctic. The tropics, because of their abundant moisture and warm temperatures, produce the most diverse and abundant fruits. Mexico and Chile produce more than half of all the fresh and frozen fruit imported into the U.S. In the U.S., the top three fruits produced are oranges, grapes, and apples. Virtually all U.S. production of almonds, pistachios, and walnuts occurs in California, which leads the U.S. in tree nut production.
Prices - Fruit prices were fairly strong in 2005 with the fresh fruit Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising +6.0% to 315.2 and the processed fruit CPI index rising +2.6% to 121.5. Fruit prices all rose in 2006: Red Delicious Apples (+12.3% to $1.067 per pound), bananas (+1.7% to 50.0 cents per pound), Anjou pears (+1.7% to $1.133 per pound), Thompson seedless grapes (+8.1% to $2.246 per pound), lemons (+10.1% to $1.554 per pound), grapefruit (+11.6% to $1.114 per pound), navel oranges (+9.2% to $1.087 cents per pound), and Valencia oranges (+11.6% to $1.001 per pound).
Supply - U.S. commercial production of selected fruits in 2006 fell -3.8% to 28.436 million short tons. By weight, oranges accounted for 31% of that U.S. fruit production figure, followed by grapes at 26%, and apples at 16%. The value of U.S. fruit production in 2006 rose +2.3% yr/yr to $16.686 billion.
Demand - U.S. per capita fresh fruit consumption in 2006 rose +1.1% to100.88 pounds per year, but remained below the 2004 record high of 102.4. The highest per capita consumption categories for non-citrus fruits in 2006 were bananas (25.03 pounds) and apples (17.73 pounds). Per capital consumption of citrus fruits were oranges (10.23 pounds), lemons (4.14 pounds), Tangerines & Tangelos (2.68 pounds) and grapefruit (2.30 pounds). The utilization breakdown for 2006 shows that total U.S. non-citrus fruit was used for fresh fruit (41%), wine (22%), dried fruit (13%), canned fruit (8%), juice (8%), and frozen fruit (4%). The value of utilized non-citrus fruit production in 2006 rose +6.8% yr/yr to $10.493 billion.