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

A chart showing the cost of services provided by food processors, years 1993 to 2010.

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.

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