Americans lose hundreds of dollars a year by tossing old fruit in the trash

4 min readJul 29, 2020
A new study found that the average person throws away $520 a year in old fruit. (Photo by Lisa Fotios on Unsplash)

While many Americans are looking for ways to save money right now, unused fruit may be a hidden culprit, according to a new study.

The average person throws away $520 a year ‒ in old fruit.

A survey of 2,000 Americans examined fruit shopping preferences and found the average respondent throws away $10 worth of fruit and wastes three pieces per week.

Seven in 10 confessed to not eating as much fruit as they should, in spite of wasting so much on a weekly basis.

It appears many Americans are still in the dark when it comes to healthy diets since nearly three in four don’t know how to incorporate fruit into their diets — or what even qualifies as a fruit.

Forty-three percent of respondents think of tomatoes as vegetables and one in four wrongly think avocado is one, too.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Washington Red Raspberry Commission, revealed one in four undershot the recommended serving of fruit a day (five) by two servings.

When it came to conjuring excuses to skip out on a serving of fruit, a third claimed they didn’t have enough time (35%) or they just forgot (34%).

Thirty-two percent said it’s too expensive, but one in four just don’t like fruit (23%). Of those who say they don’t like fruit, a whopping 41% said it’s because it goes bad too fast.

During this time of COVID-19, respondents are stocking their shelves with frozen produce they know will last.

Over a third (37%) reported buying more frozen fruit than they were before the crisis with 43% saying they intended to save it for later.

Four in five (86%) think it’s important to purchase food grown and processed in the U.S., however, that can be a challenge for some.

One in four (23%) respondents reported it is difficult to identify where fruit is grown when shopping in a grocery store.

“The survey underscores the fact that many Americans may want to lean on frozen fruit to ensure they don’t end up with so much waste,” said Henry Bierlink, executive director of the Washington Red Raspberry Commission. “Here in Washington state we’re growing 90% of the nation’s frozen red raspberries, and our farmers are pleased their fruit can provide people with nourishment year-round and at the highest quality.”

Beyond supporting local farmers, respondents connect quality to specific geographical regions.

Sixty-eight percent associate certain parts of the country with certain foods. Three in four admit to having higher expectations on food from one of these well-known regions, too.

The current pandemic likely has many Americans more aware of where their food is grown or raised. Yet, when it comes to raspberries, 89% of respondents didn’t recognize Washington as the country’s largest producer of frozen red raspberries.

“What many people don’t realize is that frozen Washington Red Raspberries go straight from our farms to freezing within hours of being picked at the peak of ripeness, locking in nutritional value, flavor and quality,” Bierlink added.

Of course, it’s great to see that respondents perceive raspberries as one of the top 10 healthiest fruits, because in fact, raspberries have more fiber than any other berry with 6 grams per cup.”


  1. Not enough time 35%
  2. I forget 34%
  3. Too expensive 32%
  4. It always goes bad 29%
  5. I don’t like fruit 18%


  • Apple 32%
  • Banana 31%
  • Orange 26%
  • Pear 17%
  • Lemon 16%
  • Blueberries 15%
  • Avocado 14%
  • Pineapple 12%
  • Grapefruit 12%
  • Raspberries 11%
  • Strawberries 11%
  • Pomegranates 10%
  • Grapes 10%
  • Cherries 8%
  • Blackberries 8%
  • Mango 8%
  • Guava 6%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<
NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.




SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.