Have you ever had the urge to look up salad consumption statistics? We have! And we know the feeling of being overwhelmed by all the different stats out there. So we decided to make a list of the latest and greatest salad consumption statistics so you don’t have to waste your time sifting through pages and pages of nothingness.
We’ve been digging around the internet and found some incredible data on salad consumption (and, of course, we’ve organized it all in an easy-to-read format).
With this information at your disposal, you can make better decisions about what type of salads to serve at your next event or how to market your business based on what types of salads are trending right now.
Salad Consumption Statistics – Editor’s Choice
Our research about salad consumption showed us that not only does the majority of the human population eat less than the recommended daily intake of vegetables, but this percentage has been significantly rising over the years.
Here are some of the top statistics we discovered about salad consumption!
- Tomato is the most popular vegetable for salads, even though it’s technically a fruit.
- On average, Americans eat 4 salads a week.
- More than 6 out of 10 Americans regularly eat salads.
- 77% of adults eat less than the average recommended daily dose of vegetables.
- A third of children between the years of 5 and 10 eat less than one portion of salad per day.
- Only 2% of American high school students eat the recommended daily dose of vegetables.
- The highest salad consumption in the European Union was reported in Ireland.
These statistics, without a doubt, will make you think. And probably convince you to make a salad right away. If you want to learn more about salad consumption globally and which are the healthiest veggies, scroll down and continue reading.
General Salad Consumption Statistics
1. The global vegetable market value reached $1,249.8 billion in 2018.
With a production of 1,555 million tons of vegetables, global vegetable consumption peaked in 2018 and reached a previously unimaginable $1.24 trillion in revenue. This figure is 2.4% higher than the results from the previous year. Between 2007 and 2018, however, the average annual growth was higher at 4.1%.
The same data showed us that about 47 million tonnes of vegetables were exported globally. The year-over-year increase for this segment was 3.2%, while the average annual growth rate between 2007 and 2018 was 2.8%.
While not all the vegetables end up in salads, these figures are still a good sign for salad lovers.
(Research and Markets)
2. The most popular vegetable in 2020 was tomato.
Even though the tomato is a fruit by all official definitions, it remains the most popular choice for a vegetable salad. In 2020 there were 186.82 million metric tons of tomatoes produced globally.
Dry onions got second place with 104.55 million metric tons produced, while cucumbers and gherkins are in third place with 91.26 million metric tons produced.
About 70.86 million metric tons of cabbages and other brassicas were made in the same year, followed by 56.62 million metric tons of eggplants (aubergines).
When you think about it, most of these are technically fruits as they come from the flower and carry their own seeds. Yet, that doesn’t prevent consumers from making delicious vegetable salads with them.
3. China is the leading producer of fresh vegetables globally.
China produced a staggering 594.05 million metric tons of vegetables, becoming a leader in the vegetable production industry. To understand how much fresh vegetables China produced in 2020, we have to compare it to India, which produced 141.2 million metric tons of vegetables. The United States is in third place with only 33.12 million metric tons.
The rise in vegetable consumption led to a massive spike in the production volume of vegetables between 2000 and 2020. In 2000 there was a global production of 682 million metric tons, while in 2020, the number reached 1.15 billion metric tons.
4. Chicken, tomatoes, and fish are the top ingredients for a salad.
According to TasteWise, the most prevalent ingredient in a salad is chicken (18.27%), and it’s one of the fastest-rising ingredients. Other popular choices include tomatoes (11.57%), fish (11.55%), salad dressing (10.15%), and potatoes (9.34%).
The same data shows us that fruit juice is the top beverage ingredient for a salad (21.38%). Other beverages often included or served alongside a salad are coffee (13.97%), beer (13.39%), tea (10.98%), and smoothie (9.03%).
5. The fastest rising salad pairing is beer.
The demand for salads has been on the rise for a while now, with an increase of 75.84% in restaurants and 4.17% in recipes. That said, one of the fastest rising salad pairings is beer, with a 28.05% spike in popularity.
Other popular choices include soup with a rise of 26.64%, sandwich with an increase of 24.44%, and coffee with a rise of 21.98%.
6. There are nearly 220,000 online recipes for salads.
TasteWise salad trends reveal that there are 219,460 online recipes for salads of all kinds. Among those, the most popular salad recipes on the platform are:
- Quinoa salad with spinach, pumpkin seeds, and cheese
- Chinese-style raw salad
- Chicken breast with a nut crust
- Tuna and TABASCO® Red Salad Wraps
- 70s Veggie Salad
Salad also boasts a high restaurant penetration as 75.84% of restaurants serve it. Its penetration in fast food restaurants is much lower at 13%.
Still, the platform shows that there are more than 17 million menu items that contain salads, and the average salad dish count per restaurant menu is 34.73.
Not bad if you ask us!
7. Only one serving of salad is associated with a 165% higher chance of meeting the dietary allowance for vitamin C in women and 119% in men.
According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, only one salad per day can satisfy your body’s needs for vitamin C.
Moreover, eating salads with or without salad dressing and raw vegetables leads to maintaining healthy levels of folic acid, vitamins C and E, alpha and beta carotene, and lycopene.
(Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
8. Over three-fourths of adults eat less than the average recommended daily dose of vegetables.
The latest data shows us an increase in salad consumption in adults compared to 2008. That said, 77% still eat less than one portion of salad daily. Moreover, most eat little to no vegetables during the day.
The good news is that 23% of adults are eating the suggested 3.5 portions of vegetables per day, which is an increase of 20% since 2012. This percentage has continuously grown in the last decade, and it’s expected to continue growing in the next one as well.
9. A third of children between the years of 5 and 10 eat less than one portion of salad per day.
While there is an increase in average salad consumption among adults, many children are still eating less than one portion of vegetables per day. Moreover, data suggests that 29% of children between the ages of 5 and 10 eat little to no vegetables daily.
Similar numbers are seen in the following age group for children between 11 and 16 years, of whom 23% eat less than a portion per day.
10. There are 1.7 million deaths globally due to a lack of fruit and vegetable consumption.
If you eat less than the recommended daily dose of salads, you have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, colorectal cancer, and stomach cancer.
According to the World Health Organization, 2.8% of all deaths globally are attributed to low fruit and vegetable consumption. On the other hand, about 16 million DALYs worldwide are also connected to low salad consumption.
One DALY is the loss of the equivalent of one year of full health.
US Salad Consumption Statistics
11. In 2021, 246.32 million Americans ate bagged or packaged salads.
Americans love their salads. That’s the conclusion of a new study by the NHCS, which found that 246.32 million Americans ate bagged or packaged salads in 2021. That’s up from 242.86 million in 2020 and 236.19 million in 2016.
And it’s a trend that seems to be growing: The number of people eating packaged salads has risen by 10% since 2011.
12. Americans eat an average of 4 salads a week.
We all know that salad is good for us, but how much do we actually eat? A recent study found that the average American eats 4 salads every week. In addition, 62% of those surveyed said they eat salads regularly in their diet.
Salads are great because they’re full of healthy nutrients—like fiber and protein—that keep your body strong and healthy. If you’re not eating enough fiber and protein in your diet, your body can’t function properly. But if you fill up on leafy greens and other vegetables? Then you’ll be getting all the nutrients you need!
So next time someone tells you not to eat a salad? Tell them about this statistic instead: Americans eat about four salads per week, which means we’re doing pretty well for ourselves when it comes to making sure our bodies stay healthy!
13. 31% of Americans prefer iceberg lettuce over other greens for salads.
We’re not sure how you feel about iceberg lettuce, but we’re pretty sure you can agree on one thing: it’s a great green for salads.
According to a recent poll, 31% of Americans agree that iceberg is the best green for salads. The next most popular answer was kale (23%).
And what about you? Are you an iceberg fan? Or do you have another favorite salad green?
14. Different generations have different preferences when it comes to salad toppings.
You know what they say: it’s all about the toppings.
At least, that’s what the results of a recent survey of salad-eaters in the United States suggest. The study was conducted by Fresh Express, and its findings showed that when it comes to salad toppings, preferences vary by generation.
For example, Gen Zers prefer blueberries (22%) and strawberries (22%) as their preferred topping—while croutons are still king amongst millennials (43%), Gen Xers (47%), and boomers (43%).
So what do these numbers mean? Well, they show that while everyone loves a good salad, there are some key differences in terms of what they like on top of that crisp green goodness.
If you’re a Gen X-er, millennial, or boomer, go ahead and pile on those croutons. And if you’re a Gen Z-er, go for those delicious berries—your body needs them!
15. Gen Z thinks of salad as a main dish, while other generations think of it as a side dish.
We know you’ve heard this stat before, but it’s worth repeating: Gen Z thinks that salad should be a main dish.
That’s right! According to a recent study, 56% of Gen Zers consider salad an entree, while all other generations consider it a side dish.
And while that may seem strange to you and me, it makes perfect sense to them. After all, they were raised in an era where vegetables were always on the menu at home and in school lunches. They’re used to having their greens—and they want them served up with some protein and carbs (hello, chicken).
What does this mean for you? Well, it’s time to start thinking outside your typical ranch dressing-and-croutons box when it comes to making salads. If you’re serving up greens on their own, they may not be as exciting as they could be—but if you add some interesting toppings or ingredients like nuts or seeds or even meat (yes, meat!), you’ll find that your customers will be much more excited about eating their greens.
And if you’re wondering how you can get your kids or grandkids (or maybe even yourself!) to eat more salad without thinking of it as a side dish? Try adding some protein and grains—and serve up those greens as a main course!
16. 69% of people say that a salad isn’t a salad without toppings.
You know what’s great about salad? You can add whatever you want to it!
That’s right: According to a recent survey, 69% of Americans say a salad is not complete without toppings, and 65% can’t have a salad without dressing.
These findings are part of an ongoing trend that shows people are increasingly turning to healthy foods like salads to fill their cravings for comfort food.
That means you could get a little bit more creative with your salads if you wanted to.
Maybe your favorite topping is strawberries—and we don’t blame you! They’re delicious. Or maybe it’s avocado, because who doesn’t love avocado? Just keep in mind that if you have any food allergies, there might be some toppings on the menu that aren’t safe for you to eat.
But hey… don’t let us tell you how to live your life! If you want to pile on the strawberries or drizzle some dressing over your salad, go for it!
17. 27% of people eat salads to get their daily servings of vegetables.
According to a recent study, the primary reasons people eat salads are:
- to get all their veggie servings in one meal (27%)
- it’s a healthy option (24%)
- convenient to make (15%).
Those are some pretty good reasons, but we wanted to know what you guys think. What are your reasons for eating salads?
18. About 95% of adults consume vegetables on a given day.
A hopeful 95% of Americans over 20 years old consumed vegetables during the day, out of which the most popular choices were red and orange vegetables (79.2%). About 78.8% consumed other vegetables, 50.3% consumed starchy vegetables, and 26.3% consumed dark green vegetables.
Interestingly, there isn’t a significant difference between men and women regarding vegetable consumption (95% for men and 95.3% for women). The only difference in salad consumption based on gender is that women prefer dark green (30%) and starchy vegetables (51.7%) over men (22.3% for dark greens and 48.8% for starchy vegetables).
19. Only 2% of American high school students eat the recommended daily dose of vegetables.
America’s youth is among the lowest consumers of vegetables and fruits. According to a study by CDC, only 2% of high school students eat enough vegetables, and only 9% eat enough fruits.
It’s scientifically proven that a diet low on vegetables and fruits leads to higher chances of disability or death. Some of the most common chronic diseases caused by a lack of vegetables and fruits are a lower immune system, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
20. Young adults, men, and people living in poverty consume the least amount of vegetables.
According to a study published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), only one in ten adults, or an average of 9%, consume the recommended daily amount of vegetables, which is two to three cups per day.
Out of those, it seems that younger adults, men, and people living in poverty are the ones who consume the least amount of vegetables.
Out of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States, seven are from chronic diseases connected to low vegetable and fruit intake.
21. The United States was the leader in vegetable imports.
According to data based on the average import value from 2011 to 2015, the United States was the leading vegetable importer globally. The average import value during those years was about $3.4 billion. Today, the United States is in second place with $47 billion, right after China, which leads the way with $72.6 billion.
These figures make sense considering that 95% of Americans consume vegetables daily.
22. The packaged salad market in the United States was worth $5.5 billion in 2020.
The packaged salad market reached new heights in 2020 and is expected to grow 7.8% annually till 2028. Experts foresee that this segment will hit $10 billion by 2028.
Packaged salads are one of the most popular types of salads because of their ease of consumption. The popularity of the packaged salad industry was also heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis because it inspired more people to cook at home. In 2018 and 2019, the packaged salad market was worth $3.9 billion and $4 billion, respectively.
Interestingly, in 2020, nearly two-thirds (65%) of the packaged salad market share was held by the vegetarian segment. It’s expected for this trend to remain as such over the following years. Moreover, nearly three-fourths of the segment is held by branded packaged salad products, while the rest goes to in-store and private label products.
(Grand View Research)
23. You can get a balanced salad meal for under $4.
We decided to do some research regarding the average price of a balanced salad meal. If you analyze the salad section at Walmart, you’ll find most packaged 5.75 oz salads cost $3.27. Some options are Caesar, Cobb, Fiesta, Spinach Dijon, and Chef salads.
Ingredients like avocado, turkey, and bacon seem to increase the price to $3.98. Such examples were the Marketside Avocado Ranch Salad as well as the BLT Salad with Turkey and Uncured Bacon.
The most expensive option at the time of our research was $5.47, and it was a 12.25 oz Marketside Farmhouse Salad with Chicken and Bacon.
Global Salad Consumption Statistics
24. China has the highest salad consumption per capita.
A 2013 survey shows China has the highest vegetable consumption per capita, with 723 pounds. Armenia is in second place with 685 pounds, and Montenegro is in third place with 533 pounds per capita.
On the other hand, the three countries with the lowest salad consumption per capita are Schat with 17 pounds, Nicaragua with 22 pounds, and Zimbabwe with 35 pounds.
25. Canadian’s daily salad consumption has been steadily decreasing.
Fewer Canadians report eating vegetables five or more times per day.
According to a study published in 2017, 31.5% of Canadians were eating the recommended daily dose of vegetables compared to 30% in 2016. Moreover, women were more likely to report consuming vegetables (34.7%) than men (22.3%).
That said, while the proportion for men reimagined relatively the same, the decline between 2016 and 2017 was noticed in women. In 2016 36.9% of Canadian women were eating vegetables compared to 34.7% in 2017.
26. The highest salad consumption in the European Union was reported in Ireland.
Ireland is a leader in salad consumption, with 33% of the population eating the highest daily intake of five or more portions. The Netherlands is second with 30% of the people, Denmark in third place with 23%, and France in fourth place with 20%.
On the other hand, Romania is at the very bottom of the list, with only 2% of the population eating at least five vegetable portions per day. Above Romania are Bulgaria and Slovenia with 5% and Austria with 6% of the population.
Regarding gender, there is a big difference in salad consumption between men and women. 15% of women consume five or more salads daily compared to only 10% of men. That said, 27% of women report not eating any salad portions per day compared to a whopping 39% of men.
27. Adults living in London are most likely to eat the recommended daily dose of vegetables in the United Kingdom.
It seems that adult men and women living in London have the highest vegetable and fruit consumption in the UK, with 4.0 portions for men and 4.1 for women. Based on the Health and Social Care Information Centre survey, 32% of men and 33% of women living in London consumed five or more salad portions per day.
When it comes to the lowest vegetable and fruit consumption, men in the North West (20%) and the Humber (19%) and women in the West Midlands (20%) were least likely to eat the daily recommended intake.
(The Health and Social Care Information Centre)
28. Only 6.1% of adults and 8.5% of children consumed the recommended daily intake of vegetables and fruits in Australia.
Only 6.1% of Australian adults eat the recommended daily dose of salads, among the lowest globally. Of those who meet the recommendations, 48.3% are women, and 41.2% are men.
Regarding children, only 8.5% met the daily dose of salads, while 4.1% did not eat any vegetables and 5.3% did not eat any fruits.
Salad Consumption and Health Statistics
29. Spinach is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables.
Raw spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables. A single cup of raw spinach provides the recommended daily intake for vitamin A and 120% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin K. Moreover, raw spinach is rich in antioxidants (beta carotene and lutein), which are known to reduce the risk of cancer.
Many popular salad recipes containing spinach can be found online. Apple Spinach Salad, Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic, Spinach and Egg Salad, and Spinach and Strawberry Salad are among the top picks for those who want to focus on this ingredient.
30. Cabbage can significantly help with chronic inflammation.
Cabbage contains many antioxidants, such as sulforaphane and kaempferol, known for their anti-inflammatory effect.
According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, over 1,000 Chinese women who ate the highest amount of cabbage had significantly lower levels of inflammation (12.66%) compared to the rest (from 18.18% to 24.68%).
Those who want to include cabbage in their salad meals also have various options. The possibilities seem endless, from a Simple Cabbage Salad to Mediterranean Cabbage Salad to Asian Cabbage Salad.
(Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
31. Potatoes can reduce insulin resistance.
Many studies prove the effect of potatoes used for improving blood sugar control. The reason for that is that it contains resistant starch that has a significant impact on reducing insulin resistance. It takes only 30 grams of resistant starch per day to reduce insulin resistance by 33%.
All these benefits make potato salads a top pick, as well. Typical potato salads also include eggs, herbs, and mayo. Yet, a range of recipes also mixes the vegetable with beans, chicken, shrimp, and other exciting ingredients.
32. Kale is an excellent salad choice for people with high cholesterol.
If you are struggling with high cholesterol, we recommend adding kale to your regular diet.
Kale juice is proven to influence serum lipid profiles and antioxidant systems, hence lowering the bad cholesterol by 10% and increasing the good cholesterol by 27%. According to a 2008 study, men who drank 150 milliliters of kale juice per day reduced the risk of coronary artery disease in men with hyperlipidemia.
Kale salads have been especially popular lately as consumers are open to trying out different variants of salads. For example, you’ll find Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Kale Salad with Watermelon Radish, Kale, and Chicken Salad, and other options with both traditional as well as more exotic ingredients choices.
33. Tomatoes can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a lipophilic, unsaturated carotenoid usually found in red-colored vegetables and fruits.
According to a 2018 study published in the National Library of Medicine, lycopene has beneficial cardiovascular effects, antioxidative and protective endothelial effects, and anti-inflammatory effects. All these benefits lead to a 53% healthier cardiovascular system.
Tomato salads often go both ways. They are either served as a side dish, in which case the tomato is mixed with other vegetables like cucumber as well as with white cheese. Alternatively, they are served as a main dish, in which case the salad often includes avocado, meat, and fish as protein sources alongside dressings for extra flavor.
34. Not all salads are healthy.
It’s important to note that not all salads are equal. Some come with a high calorie count, depending on the ingredients used in making them. Those options with rich dressings and bread cubes, for example, also have lots of carbs and fat.
So, we decided to list some different types of salads and their typical calorie count to give you a better idea of what to expect when you order that delicious salad next time.
|1 cup of mixed greens salad||9 calories|
|1 cup of mixed greens with avocado, carrots, tomato||45 calories|
|1 cup of mixed greens with cheese, egg||78 calories|
|1 cup of bean salad||114 calories|
|1 cup of potato salad||358 calories|
|1 cup of beef salad||495 calories|
|1 cup of salmon salad||406 calories|
|1 cup of pasta salad||358 calories|
As you can see, sticking to the basics is your best bet if you want to keep a low-calorie count.
In this article, we’ve looked at salad consumption statistics in an effort to help you make better decisions when it comes to consuming salads. We have explored everything from the health benefits of salad to different types of salads and their popularity on dinner tables around the world.
By examining all of these statistics, you’ll have no problem narrowing down your choices and finding the perfect salad for you. Hopefully, this information has been helpful, and you will start to include more salads in your diet over the coming months or years.
No matter what your diet or eating style is, there is a salad out there for you – so next time you are in the grocery store, make sure to grab some greens!
- Fresh Express
- Grand View Research
- Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Peas Please
- Research and Markets
- Statistics Canada
- The Health and Social Care Information Centre