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How US food imports changed in the 2010s: A Quiz!

A child cutting an orange.
Reuters/Herb Swanson
Dissecting the decade in US food imports.
  • Dan Kopf
By Dan Kopf

Data editor

Published

Overall the 2010s were a period of relatively slow growth for US imports. But the value of live animal, food and drink imports bucked the trend. Those categories grew by almost 60% from 2008 to 2018, which was almost three times faster growth than all imports.

Improvements in storage and transportation made importing food products from other countries cheaper, lowering overall prices and increasing choice. For example, more than half of the fresh fruit purchased in the US now comes from outside the country.

Which products imports grew fastest? The following quiz looks at six changes to US food trade over the last decade. If you’ve been paying attention to your menus and grocery market labels, you might have a good chance to answer all six correctly.

All comparisons in the quiz are for the year-long period ending on Aug. 31 versus the same period exactly ten years prior 1, unless otherwise noted. The figures are not adjusted for inflation—this means that upward trends are not as great as they appear.

1
All categories of imports are at the six digit level of the “harmonized tariff schedule” codes.

In the chart below each question, the fastest growing product is highlighted in blue. Good luck!

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