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Image: Food Markets & Prices

Food Prices, Expenditures & Costs



ERS develops and monitors indicators of individual, household, and market-level food consumption, prices, expenditures, food marketing costs, and farm-to-retail price spreads. Food choices are influenced by prices and income as well as other factors.

ERS conducts research on:

  • the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food which is probably the most widely used indicator of changes in retail food prices, 
  • food expenditures which are calculated by estimating current sales or receipts by each type of store that sells food, allowing the analysis of changes in American food consumption patterns,
  • the food dollar series which measures annual expenditures by U.S. consumers on domestically produced food. This data series is composed of three primary series--the marketing bill series, the industry group series, and the primary factor series--that shed light on different aspects of the food supply chain, and
  • price spreads which compares the prices paid by consumers for food with the prices received by farmers for their corresponding commodities.

Last updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For more information contact: Patrick Canning, Annette Clauson, Hayden Stewart, and Richard Volpe

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