Food processors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and
foodservice providers transform raw agricultural commodities into
convenient food products for American consumers to buy.
Transportation, processing, and packaging are among the many
marketing services provided. Value added to commodities through
marketing services accounts for a substantial portion of consumer
ERS compares the prices paid by consumers for food with the
prices received by farmers for their corresponding commodities.
ERS's goal is to inform policymakers, agriculture, and the general
public about the value added to agricultural commodities by the
food marketing system and to compare costs for marketing
commodities with farm receipts. This data product reports these
comparisons for a variety of foods sold through retail food stores
such as supermarkets and supercenters.
Farm-to-consumer price spreads may increase or decrease over
time with changes in the mix and prices of services required to
transform raw agricultural commodities into consumer food
products. Long-run trends therefore reflect a variety of
underlying economic conditions, including changes in the technology
used to process and distribute food as well as changes in the price
of inputs, such as labor and energy.