Jeffrey Hyman is an economist with the Food Markets Branch in the Food Economics Division, where he helps lead the development, management, and updates for two USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) data products—Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer and Fruit and Vegetable Prices. His research informs policy and other decision makers about the economic factors related to diet quality and food choice. He is adept at working with retail scanner data and other large datasets including USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, and Food Patterns Equivalents Database.
Using 2020 Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) InfoScan data, Jeffrey is leading efforts to update estimates of the costs for consumers to purchase fruits and vegetables and meet Federal dietary recommendations for both food groups. This research also examines how an increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits might make fruits and vegetables more affordable for participating households.
Jeffrey also leads efforts to update and maintain USDA, ERS estimates of farm-to-retail price spreads. USDA, ERS compares the prices paid by consumers for food with the prices received by farmers for their corresponding commodities. These comparisons are reported for a variety of foods sold in retail food stores. Updated data visualizations show results for fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and other types of foods as well as how retail and farm-level prices for each type of food have changed over time.
Jeffrey is exploring correlations among variables available in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index and the USDA, ERS Food Environment Atlas.
Jeffrey’s main research interests are food prices and farm-to-retail food price spreads. He has estimated the costs of fruits and vegetables to meet Federal dietary recommendations. Jeffrey has also helped to illustrate the variety of fruits and vegetables households can afford to buy with a limited budget.
Previous research by Jeffrey investigated menu labeling. As large chain restaurants are now required to post calorie information at the point of sale, Jeffrey investigated how this would affect consumers. His research showed even knowledgeable consumers stand to learn a lot of new information with calorie disclosures. He investigated whether menu labeling would also prompt restaurants to adapt their menus by actions such as replacing higher-calorie menu items with lower-calorie options.
Stewart, H., J. Hyman, D. Dong, and A. Carlson. 2021. “The More That Households Prioritise Healthy Eating, the Better They Can Afford to Consume a Sufficient Quantity and Variety of Fruits and Vegetables,” Public Health Nutrition 24 (7):1841–1850.
Stewart, H., J. Hyman, P. W. McLaughlin, and D. Dong. 2019. USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): A New Look at Key Questions 10 Years After USDA Added Whole-Grain Bread to WIC Food Packages in 2009, ERR-268, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
Stewart, H., J. Hyman, and D. Dong. 2015. "Menu Labeling Fills the Gaps in Consumers’ Knowledge of the Calorie Content of Restaurant Foods," Agribusiness: An International Journal 31(4):491–506.
Buzby, J., and J. Hyman. 2012. "Total and per capita value of food loss in the United States," Food Policy 37(5):561–70.
Buzby, J., J. Hyman, H. Stewart, and H. Farah-Wells. 2011. "The Value of Retail- and Consumer-Level Fruit and Vegetable Losses in the United States," Journal of Consumer Affairs 45(3):492–515.
Stewart, H., J. Hyman, E. Frazao, J. Buzby, and A. Carlson. 2011. "Can Low-income Americans Afford to Satisfy MyPyramid Fruit and Vegetable Guidelines?" Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 43(3):173–79.