Although greenhouse tomatoes still constitute a minority share of the U.S. fresh tomato market, their influence is growing in retail channels, which represents about half of U.S. tomato consumption. The greenhouse tomato industry has established itself as an important part of the North American fresh tomato industry. According to an article published in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, around 37 percent of all fresh tomatoes sold in U.S. retail stores are greenhouse produced, compared with negligible amounts in the early 1990s.In a consumer society that appreciates differentiation and variety, greenhouse tomatoes can be seen as one more development in this trend in regards to tomato offerings, which has also seen a growth in the variety of in field-grown tomatoes. These improved varieties, as well as the positive health benefits associated with eating tomatoes have helped to contribute to a 30 percent rise in U.S. consumption of fresh tomatoes since the mid 1980s, with estimated 2003 annual per capita consumption levels around 19.4 pounds.While greenhouse tomatoes typically have higher retail prices than field tomatoes, several factors have contributed to the growth in this sector: Their protection from weather and other conditions generally produce a much more… Read full this story
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