The USDA’s Economic Research Service looks at food consumption changes over the past century. Rising income, health information, new technologies, agricultural policy and changing social norms all play a factor. Ag policy:
Between 1924 and 1974, availability of sweeteners averaged 113.2 pounds per capita, not including the sugar-rationing World War II years. A variety of Government policies—investments in public research that raised yields for corn, sugar production allotments and trade restrictions, and subsidies for corn production—helped make corn sweeteners relatively less expensive than sugar. Food manufacturers responded by using the cheaper corn sweeteners, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), in place of sugar in an ever-expanding array of processed products ranging from soft drinks and breakfast cereals to soups and spaghetti sauce. In 2008, HFCS accounted for 39 percent of the 136.3 pounds per person of sweeteners available for consumption.
In 1910, 88 percent of fruit consumed was fresh. Now it’s about 50/50 with processed fruit.