Amber Waves, May 02, 2016
Recent studies show that the effect of food store access on dietary quality may be limited. Most consumers—both low-income and higher income—consider store characteristics other than proximity in deciding where to shop, as they seek the products, prices, and other features they value.
EIB-152, April 28, 2016
This report examines the distribution of WIC store types and dollar redemptions and compares the share of WIC versus SNAP redemptions at large stores in FY 2012 as a rough measure of WIC participants’ price sensitivity.
Amber Waves, March 07, 2016
Data from USDA’s 2007 and 2012 Agricultural Censuses show that farmers who market food directly to consumers have a greater chance of remaining in business than similarly sized farms who market through traditional channels. While farmers who directly market to consumers are more likely to continue f...
EB-27, February 26, 2016
Many consumers may perceive fruit and vegetable recommendations in USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans as too expensive. ERS illustrates how a family of four can meet these recommendations on a limited budget.
AES-91, February 25, 2016
February 2016 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2016 are discussed in this report. Exports are forecast at $125.0 billion in 2016; imports to reach record high.
EIB-149, February 24, 2016
ERS synthesizes production data on GE crop varieties, organic crops (which exclude GE seed), and conventionally grown non-GE crops, and considers coexistence practices and economic losses due to unintended presence of GE material.
AES-90, December 01, 2015
November 2015 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2016 are discussed in this report. Exports are forecast at $131.5 billion in 2016; imports to reach record high.
FTS-360, September 30, 2015
The Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook report analyzes supply-and-demand conditions in the U.S. fruit and tree nuts markets and provides projections on market conditions for 2015 apple, pear, cranberry, grape and peach crops as well as 2014/15 citrus crops, both fresh and processed markets. It incl...
ERR-195, September 29, 2015
Average distance travelled to a food store has a very small effect on purchases of healthy food, even in low-income, low-access areas. Unhealthy diets are more strongly associated with low income than with limited access to supermarkets.
ERR-193, August 27, 2015
A case study of pathogen-related recalls of cantaloupe in 2011 and 2012 suggests consumers’ food purchase responses take into account the relative risk severity of specific pathogens. Information from news media apparently plays a role.
AES-89, August 27, 2015
This report discusses August 2015 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2015 and 2016. Exports are expected to fall $1 billion in 2016; imports to reach record high.
Amber Waves, August 03, 2015
Data from USDA’s new FoodAPS survey reveal that SNAP participants and food-insecure households are less likely than higher income consumers to use their own vehicles for their primary food shopping, and more likely to use someone else's car, or to walk, bike, or take public transit.
FTS-359, June 30, 2015
Peach, cherry, and prune production forecast down from last season. The decline in peach output has only put little upward pressure on prices. Shipments of melons are up through June.
AES-86, May 28, 2015
May 2015 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2015 are discussed in this report. Exports to fall $12 billion in 2015; imports to reach record high.
TB-1940, May 27, 2015
In recent years, ERS has used a revised methodology for forecasting food price inflation, which captures price impacts at various stages of the food supply system and results in improved precision of the forecasts.
EIB-140, May 12, 2015
Each year, 1 in 6 people in the United States is sickened by a foodborne illness acquired in the States. ERS provides an overview of recent estimates of the economic burden imposed annually by 15 leading foodborne pathogens.
Amber Waves, March 02, 2015
To reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, some policymakers and nutrition advocates argue that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits should not be allowed to be used for purchasing these beverages.
AES-85, February 19, 2015
February 2015 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2015 are discussed in this report. Exports to fall $11 billion in 2015; imports to reach new record high.
Amber Waves, February 02, 2015
New calorie labeling laws requiring chain restaurants and other eating places to post the calorie content of their offerings on menus and menu boards are most likely to influence food choices when consumers learn new, surprising information.
AES-84, December 02, 2014
December 2014 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2015 are discussed in this report. Exports to fall $9 billion in 2015; imports to reach new record.
Amber Waves, December 01, 2014
Despite falling unemployment rates, the prevalence of food insecurity among U.S. households remained relatively stable from the end of the Great Recession (2007-09) through 2013. Higher general inflation, combined with higher relative food prices, offset the effect of lower unemployment.
EIB-131, December 01, 2014
The study compares distances to outlets for obtaining healthy, affordable food in tribal areas to those for the general U.S. population, with implications for improving the health of tribal populations.
ERR-178, November 20, 2014
ERS examines the effects of time-use behaviors, sociodemographic characteristics, labor force participation, and prices on fast-food purchasing patterns in the United States before and after the 2007-09 recession.
Amber Waves, November 03, 2014
Participants in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) value nutrition as much as other consumers, but their attempts to balance nutrition goals with competing constraints—time, distance to grocery stores, and money—may make it harder for SNAP shoppers to make healthy choices.
AP-067, September 12, 2014
Examples from ERS's updated collection of 70 charts/maps, each with accompanying text, covering key statistics on farming, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, interaction of agriculture and the environment, and more.
AES-83, August 28, 2014
August 2014 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2014 and 2015 are discussed in this report. Record-high imports and exports expected in 2014. Exports to fall 7 percent in 2015; imports to reach new record.
ERR-171, August 19, 2014
ERS examines two possible strategies for containing WIC program costs–inducing small vendors to lower prices, and eliminating the vendors in each vendor peer group (organized by size and geographic location) who have the highest prices.
ERR-167, June 20, 2014
The association of food insecurity with household characteristics and national economic conditions over 2001-12 provides insight into why food insecurity remained at about the same level in 2012 as shortly after the recession.
Amber Waves, June 02, 2014
ERS estimates that 31 percent, or 133 billion pounds, of food available for consumption in U.S. grocery stores, restaurants, and homes went uneaten in 2010. Greater awareness of the amount of food loss—and where and why it occurs—may help spur public and private responses.
AES-82, May 29, 2014
The May 2014 quarterly USDA forecasts for agricultural trade in the United States in FY 2014 are presented and discussed in this report.
TB-1938, May 21, 2014
ERS’s new Quarterly Food-Away-from-Home Prices (QFAFHP) data show substantial variation in prices across U.S. regions and food establishment types, with implications for analyses of food purchasing behavior and dietary outcomes.
Amber Waves, May 05, 2014
When ERS researchers examined the types of vegetables and vegetable-containing foods eaten by Americans, they found that instead of eating vegetables in their simple, unadorned state, Americans often eat vegetables prepared in ways that add calories and sodium and remove dietary fiber.
ERR-165, April 29, 2014
An ERS econometric model shows that supply-and-demand factors specific to the wheat market largely accounted for observed price variation in 2008. In contrast, speculation by index traders had comparatively little influence on prices.
Amber Waves, March 04, 2014
Between 2005 and 2010, Americans experienced large changes in employment and income that affected their food expenditures and intake. Once demographic characteristics unrelated to the Great Recession are controlled for, food-away-from-home (FAFH) calories among working-age adults declined about 15 p...
AES-81, February 20, 2014
The February 2014 quarterly USDA forecasts for agricultural trade in the United States in FY 2014 are presented and discussed in this report.
Amber Waves, February 03, 2014
USDA’s food and nutrition assistance programs—many of which were conceived half a century ago—are still some of the Federal Government’s most important means of fighting poverty and improving the economic well-being of needy Americans.
LDPM-231, September 18, 2013
Corn-Belt Dryness Tweaks Meat Sectors
AP-062, September 16, 2013
This collection of nine charts and maps presents essential information on the farm sector, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, and the interaction of agriculture and natural resources.
ERR-152, August 05, 2013
Crop production and land have shifted to larger operations. ERS details the changes by region and commodity sector, and evaluates driving factors such as technologies, business organization and finances, land attributes, and policy.
Amber Waves, May 06, 2013
Disability has emerged as one of the strongest known factors in household food security. ERS found that a third of U.S. households with an adult unable to work due to disability were food insecure in 2009-10.
Amber Waves, February 21, 2013
In grocery stores, Americans underspend on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and overspend on refined grains, fats, and sugars/sweets, compared with dietary guidance Away-from-home foods are even less consistent with dietary guidance.
EIB-106, January 15, 2013
Heightened use of hydropower increases competition between local energy and agriculture sectors for scarce supplies of water. Although this may raise cotton prices locally, it has minimal effect on global prices.
ERR-143, November 28, 2012
ERS updates data on spatial access to affordable, healthy food, measuring distance to the nearest supermarkets for the U.S. population and considering factors like vehicle ownership and income level of households and areas.
EIB-102, November 08, 2012
Americans have a long way to go in conforming to dietary guidelines when purchasing food for home; they buy too few fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and choose foods with too many fats and added sugars.
FTS-353, September 27, 2012
Multiple spring freezes and summer’s high temperatures and dry conditions hampered progress of many fruit crops across the country, affecting growing regions or areas at different magnitude levels. Forecast smaller U.S. apple, pear, and grape crops this year will likely boost their prices during th...
Amber Waves, September 20, 2012
Factors in consumer response to price changes include income, size of the price change, availability of substitutes, and expected length of price changes. See this and other features in September Amber Waves.
TB-1933, July 18, 2012
This report documents the updated version of the Partial Equilibrium Agricultural
Trade Simulation (PEATSim) model developed by USDA’s Economic Research Service.
PEATSim is a global model, covering 31 commodities and 27 countries/regions. The
model, consistent with economic theory, provides a flexib...
FTS-352, June 28, 2012
This season’s Southern Hemisphere blueberry shipments to the United States (primarily from Chile) have already ended and sourcing has now transitioned to domestic production. Current domestic pricing for fresh blueberries is above last year’s, caused by an early finish to Chilean shipments this wint...
ERR-130, December 30, 2011
ERS quantifies investment trends by for-profit companies in food manufacturing, biofuels, and agricultural input R&D and explores how the trends are affected by changes in industry structure.
ERR-128, November 04, 2011
ERS explores farmers’ use of both direct-to-consumer marketing (such as farmers markets) and intermediated channels (such as grocers and restaurants) to sell food to consumers in their local areas.
Amber Waves, September 01, 2011
Food prices jumped in 2010-11, the second price spike within 3 years. Longer term financial, agricultural, and demographic trends, exacerbated by short-term production shortfalls, set up conditions for the increases.
Amber Waves, September 01, 2011
Faced with falling incomes and economic uncertainty, many Americans economized on their food purchases during the 2007-09 recession, particularly on food away from home.
ERR-122, July 12, 2011
Modern grocery retailing has been expanding rapidly in developing countries, with implications for food demand, farmers’ income, and trade.
EIB-75, May 04, 2011
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods to low-income women, infants, and children at nutritional risk. Since October 2009, WIC packages have included a fixed-value voucher for purchasing fruits and vegetables. Although this shoul...
Amber Waves, March 14, 2011
A 2010 Federal law will require U.S. chain restaurants to display calorie information on their menus and menu boards. Will consumers use this information to make healthier food choices?
EIB-71, February 01, 2011
ERS used retail scanner data to estimate the average prices of 153 fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. The report includes estimates of the cost of meeting the recommendations of USDA’s recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines
AP-050, November 10, 2010
The Senate Report 111-039 accompanying S. 1406, the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) prepare and publish a report regarding consumer perceptions of canned fruits and vegetables. In the absence of consumer...
Amber Waves, September 01, 2010
Population growth, higher per capita food expenditures, and greater reliance on energy-using technologies boosted food-related energy consumption in 1997 to 2002.
ERR-96, June 03, 2010
ERS compares the potential effectiveness of coupons versus price discounts in encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption among participants in Federal food and nutrition assistance programs.
VGS-333-01, August 19, 2009
Growth over time in the demand for fresh vegetables for at-home consumption may slow because of differences in the behavior of younger and older birth cohorts. A birth cohort includes people born in the same year and is similar in concept to a generation. People born around the same point in history...
AP-036, June 25, 2009
This report fills a request for a study of food deserts—areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food—from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The report summarizes findings of a national-level assessment of the extent and characteristics of food deserts, analysis of the co...
EIB-48, April 01, 2009
This book contains a sampling of recent ERS research illustrating the breadth of the Agency's research on current policy issues: from biofuels to food consumption to land conservation to patterns of trade for agricultural products.
AP-031, January 02, 2009
Among the many responsibilities of USDA are implementing the Food Stamp Program and other food and nutrition assistance programs; managing Federal forest land; implementing standards of humane care and treatment of animals; providing incentives for adopting wildlife habitat enhancements and other co...
ERR-55, March 12, 2008
Evidence suggest that a wide class of unprepared fresh fruits and vegetables—those that have not been combined with labor-saving attributes—display declining prices along with prices of commonly consumed dessert and snack foods
Amber Waves, February 01, 2008
Recent hikes in oil prices have raised serious concerns in low-income countries, both because of the financial burden of the higher energy import bill and potential constraints on imports of necessities like food and raw materials. Higher oil prices also have sparked energy security concerns worldwi...
Amber Waves, February 01, 2008
Ethanol's impact on retail food prices depends on how long the increased demand for corn drives up farm corn prices and the extent to which higher corn prices are passed through to retail. ERS research traces the effect of higher corn prices on U.S. retail food prices by analyzing data on price tre...
ERR-52, December 27, 2007
ERS examines the economic factors that underlie the dramatic decline in number of hog operations over the past 15 years and the increasing concentration of production on large, specialized hog farms.
ERR-33, December 29, 2006
This report focuses on retail food market dynamics and how they affect food price variation across store formats. The differences in prices across store formats are especially noteworthy when compared with standard measures of food price inflation over time. Over the past 20 years, annual food price...
FTS-32001, February 14, 2006
China has raised its profile in global fruit and vegetable markets, with the value of its exports during 2002-04 more than double the value from a decade earlier. Most of China's exports are processed fruits and vegetables that do not yet pose a serious challenge to U.S. exports. However, China's fr...
Amber Waves, November 01, 2005
Just 20 years ago, traditional grocery stores claimed nearly 90 percent of Americans' at-home food purchases. Today, their share has dropped to 69 percent. Led by retail giants Wal-Mart, Costco, and Target, nontraditional food stores have managed to grab market share by enticing consumers with a fo...
FANRR-41, January 11, 2005
Food prices within States affect average monthly costs of State food benefits packages provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) more than variations in WIC caseload composition do. In addition, cost-containment practices by State WIC agencies prov...
AER-837, November 01, 2004
Demand for specific product attributes is making contracts the choice over traditional spot markets for many livestock commodities and some major crops—e.g., sugar beets, fruit, tomatoes.
TB-1905, November 07, 2003
The gross-output multifactor productivity index for U.S. food manufacturing grew 0.19 percent per year between 1975 and 1997. This productivity growth is low when compared with an estimate of 1.25 percent per year for the whole manufacturing sector. Low investment in research and development (R&D) c...
Amber Waves, November 01, 2003
Changing U.S. demographics—more mature consumers, greater ethnic diversity, and larger incomes—are driving changes in consumer demand for food products. These changing preferences, along with technological advances and other changes in the economy, offer agribusiness companies new challenges and opp...
AER-811, August 01, 2002
The U.S. Food Marketing System, 2002 provides a detailed overview of the structure, performance, information systems, new technology, and foreign direct investment of the food manufacturing, wholesaling, grocery retailing, and food service sectors, including a comprehensive set of appendix tables co...
TB-1881, February 01, 2000
Recent trends in mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. food sector--food manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers--raise concerns about market power. In the presence of market power, farmers may receive lower than competitive farm prices, and consumers may pay higher than competitive retail prices. ...
TB-1872, February 01, 1999
The results of this study indicate that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has not systematically overestimated or underestimated the food costs incurred by the general population. True-cost-of-food indexes calculated for the general population tend to be the same as or slightly lower then the CPI excep...
AIB-743, August 03, 1998
New food product introductions fell sharply in 1996. The number of new plants, consumer advertising expenditures, and common stock prices reached new highs in 1996, as did the number of mergers in the foodservice industry. Profitability from food manufacturing and retailing was higher due to strong ...
AER-760, March 01, 1998
Foreign direct investment (FDI) has become the leading means for U.S. processed food companies to participate in international markets. Affiliates of U.S.-owned food processing companies had $30 billion in sales throughout the Western Hemisphere in 1995, nearly 4 times the level of processed food ex...
AIB-731, April 15, 1997
The number of new food processing plants rose sharply in 1995. Profitability from food manufacturing and retailing operations (excluding interest expense) continued to increase, reflecting strong sales, wage and producer price stability, and streamlining of operations. The number of mergers and leve...
AER-742, April 02, 1997
International commerce in processed foods substantially exceeds the value of unprocessed agricultural commodities and is expanding more rapidly. International trade in processed foods has been the most rapidly growing portion of world food and agricultural trade during the past decade. Even more sig...