Fruit comprises a significant component of our diets. However, not all fruit are equally popular. So, let’s dive deep into the statistics and reports related to the most popular fruit in the world.
What Is the Most Popular Fruit in the World?
To the surprise of many, tomato is the most popular fruit in the world, beating conventional popular fruits like apples and bananas. Tomato, formally classified as a fruit, is produced in greater quantities than any other fruit in the world, and the demand for it keeps growing.
Hand-Picked Stats and Facts About the World’s Most Popular Fruit
Let’s get familiar with some of the most compelling facts and statistics regarding the least fruity (yet the most popular) fruit in the world.
Most people don’t regard tomatoes as fruit.
Though tomatoes are botanically regarded as fruit (like all fruit, they develop from the flower’s fertilized ovary), not many of us use this classification in “real life.”
Due to their characteristic taste, we use tomatoes the way we would vegetables (with meat, fish, soups, and never in deserts), hence the confusion.
Tomatoes are one of the few plants with umami flavor.
(The Guardian) (WebMD) (ZME Science)
Umami is a strong savory flavor defined as “the fifth taste” that’s neither sweet, salty, sour, nor bitter. Other food with a natural umami flavor includes mushrooms, seaweeds, seafood, cooked meat, cured meat, cheese, fermented foods, etc.
The world production of tomatoes amounted to 182.3 million metric tons in 2018.
China is the leading tomato-producing country, producing 57 million tonnes of tomatoes a year.
Turkey was the largest Middle Eastern tomato consumer in 2018.
(Global Trade Mag)
Turkey, which consumed a whopping 12 million tonnes of tomatoes, was followed by Iran (6.5 million tonnes) and the Syrian Arab Republic (658,000 tonnes). These three countries combined accounted for 86% of the total Middle Eastern tomato consumption in 2018.
The world consumed a whopping 38.8 million mT of tomatoes in 2018/2019.
Leading tomato consumers included the Western European Union and North America.
African tomato consumption increased by 3.65% in 2019.
Tomato consumption in Africa increased from approximately 19,5 million tonnes in 2018 to 20.2 million tonnes in 2019.
The US was the world’s largest tomato importer in 2020.
The US imported a whopping 1.8 million tons of tomatoes in 2020. Germany and France ranked second and third on the list of the world’s largest importers for 2020, with 731,370 and 507,483 tonnes of imported tomatoes, respectively.
Canada, Morocco, Spain, the Netherlands, and Mexico were the world’s biggest tomato exporters in 2020.
(World’s Top Exports)
They accounted for 69.3% of the world’s total tomato exports. Top-ranking Mexico accounted for 26.5% of total tomato export in 2020, while the Netherlands, Spain, Morocco, and Canada followed with 19.5%, 10.9%, 7.8%, and 4.7%, respectively.
Contrary to popular opinion, tomatoes are fruit — the most popular ones. We hope you enjoyed our hand-picked stats and facts proving the widespread popularity of this non-fruit-tasting fruit.