ERS Charts of Note

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Processing's share of the at-home food dollar up in 2009 and 2010

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In 2010, about 35 cents from each dollar that U.S. consumers spent on U.S-produced food sold in grocery and other retail foodstores went to food processing establishments like flour mills and dairy processors. Between 1993 and 2008, processing's share fluctuated between 30 and 33 cents, then rose in 2009 and 2010. When prices for the services provided by food processors and other food production inputs, such as farm commodities and energy, are held constant at their 2000 levels, processing's share of the at-home food dollar rises even more sharply to 37 cents. This indicates that processing's share has grown not because food companies are charging more for their processing services but because consumers are buying greater quantities of more processed food products. This chart appears in "Food Processing Costs Per Food-At-Home Dollar Rose in 2009 and 2010" in the September 2012 issue of ERS's Amber Waves magazine.

Retail and farm values track more closely for whole milk than cheddar cheese

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Changes in the farm value and retail price of whole milk tend to track relatively closely over time. Milk moves from farms to retail outlets, via fluid milk processors, in a matter of days. Prices paid at each end of the supply chain are thus close together in time, and changes may be transmitted quickly from level to level. The relationship between the farm value and retail price is weaker for Cheddar cheese. Cheese manufacturing is a lengthier process than fluid milk processing, and cheese may pass through several intermediaries before reaching retail outlets. Prices at each end of the supply chain are thus farther apart in time, and changes at one level are not reflected as quickly at the other. This chart appears in "Retail Dairy Prices Respond Differently to Farm Milk Price Shocks" in the September 2012 issue of ERS's Amber Waves magazine.

Farm shares for dairy foods vary by product

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The farm share--the portion of a food's retail price that represents what farmers earn for the agricultural commodities used to produce the food--varies depending, in part, on the degree of processing. Farm shares for highly-processed foods are generally smaller than less processed foods. Dairy products are a case in point. Minimally-processed products like milk and butter have higher farm shares than cheese or ice cream. In 2010, the farm share for fresh whole milk was 54 percent, while the farm shares for Cheddar cheese and ice cream were 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Cheddar cheese's lower farm share reflects the costs to process milk into cheese, along with aging, cutting, shredding, packaging, and/or advertising costs. Ice cream makers have greater costs for non-milk inputs like packaging, advertising, and ingredients such as nuts and cookie bits. The data for this chart come from ERS's Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer data set.

Food and beverage processing plants located across the U.S.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The U.S. food and beverage manufacturing sector employs 1.6 million people, or 11.9 percent of all U.S. manufacturing workers. Food and beverage processing plants are located throughout the United States. According to the Census Bureau's County Business Patterns, California had the most food manufacturing plants (5,863) in 2007, while New York (2,320) and Texas (1,991) were also leading food and beverage manufacturing States. Persistent outmigration of youth and natural decrease (an excess of deaths over births) fuel severe population loss throughout the Great Plains and in the Mississippi Delta; suburban expansion and amenity-based migration explain rapid population growth in the South and West. This chart is from the Food Marketing System in the U.S. briefing room on the ERS website, updated in March 2010.

Store brand food product introductions set record in 2009

Monday, May 23, 2011

In 2009, a record-setting 810 new private-label (store brand) foods appeared on retail shelves-7 times more than in 2001. Private-label foods ranked fourth among new product claims in 2009, accounting for 3.6 percent of all new product claims-ahead of "high vitamin," "low or no trans fat," "quick," "no preservatives," and "organic." This chart appeared in the June 2010 issue of Amber Waves.

New food product introductions shrink for second consecutive year

Friday, May 13, 2011

U.S. food and beverage product introductions increased for most of the last decade and a half. Product introductions include new varieties or package sizes of existing items, as well as new products. A record 24,236 new products were introduced in 2007. In 2009, however, U.S. food and beverage product introductions fell by 3,519 to 19,047, the second consecutive yearly reduction and the largest in at least 15 years. Among the top 10 new product tags or claims, "premium" and "organic" experienced the largest declines, while private label product introductions set a new record in 2009. This chart originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of Amber Waves magazine.

The foodservice industry is a large and growing market

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The food marketing system, including food service (food away from home) and food retailing (food at home), supplied about $1.18 trillion worth of food in 2009. The foodservice industry ($575 billion) was nearly equal in size to food retailing ($607 billion). This chart originally appeared in the Food Service chapter of the Food Marketing System in the U.S briefing room, November 2010.

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