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California, New York, and Texas lead in number of food and beverage processing plants

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

In 2015, five States—California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois—accounted for 38 percent of the 34,661 U.S. food and beverage processing plants operating that year. These States also have the highest populations and lead in agricultural production and manufacturing. California, with 5,531 food processing plants, had more than double that of second place New York (2,508 plants). California holds an important national position in several food processing industries—including fruit and vegetables, sugar, wine, and coffee—because of its favorable climate for growing a variety of crops and its ports. The State also has numerous dairy processing plants to serve its large population. In New York, bakery manufacturing accounts for the most food and beverage processing plants, followed by wineries and animal slaughter and processing plants. Texas ranked third for the most food processing plants (2,175); bakery manufacturing and animal slaughter and processing industries accounted for 39 percent of Texan food and beverage processing plants in 2015. This chart is from "Number of Food and Beverage Processing Plants Varies Across the United States" in the November 2017 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.

About a third of U.S. food manufacturing jobs are in meat and poultry plants

Monday, July 24, 2017

In 2015, the U.S. food and beverage manufacturing sector employed more than 1.5 million people, or just over 1 percent of all U.S. nonfarm employment. Within the U.S. manufacturing sector, food and beverage manufacturing employees accounted for the largest share of employees (13.7 percent). In over 34,000 food and beverage manufacturing plants located throughout the country, these employees were engaged in transforming raw agricultural materials into products for intermediate or final consumption. Manufacturing jobs include processing, inspecting, packing, janitorial and guard services, product development, recordkeeping, and nonproduction duties such as sales, delivery, advertising, and clerical and routine office functions. Meat and poultry plants employed the largest share of food and beverage manufacturing workers (31 percent), followed by bakeries (16 percent), and fruit and vegetable processing plants (11 percent). This chart appears in the ERS data product, Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials.

Beverages and snacks accounted for a third of 2016’s new food products

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Looking for a new type of chip or dip or soft drink to serve at your Memorial Day cook out? In 2016, food and beverage companies introduced 21,435 new products on U.S. retail shelves—new package sizes, new flavors, new packaging, and truly new products. New beverages accounted for 18.5 percent of new food and beverage products in 2016, and snack products were second with a 14.8-percent share. Food retailers seeking profitable new products for their shelves often look for “trending” foods and beverages being sought by consumers, such as craft beers and wines and gluten-free snacks. Beer and wine accounted for 21 percent of the 3,975 beverages introduced in 2016. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, 3,172 snack products were introduced that year—820 more than in 2011. A growing snack selection could reflect more Americans grazing during the day rather than eating full meals. The increase in new snack products was led by snack/cereal/energy bars, wheat and other grain-based snacks, vegetable snacks, and meat snacks. Bakery foods—such as cookies and baking mixes—accounted for 12.6 percent of new 2016 products. The data for this chart are from the Processing & Marketing topic page on the ERS Web site.

Number of new food and beverage products rebounded in 2016

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Introducing “new” products—new package sizes, new flavors, new packaging, and truly new products—is one way that food and beverage companies try to woo consumers and increase sales. After 2 years of declining numbers of product introductions, 21,435 new foods and beverages made their debut on U.S. retail shelves in 2016—the largest annual number of product introductions since 2007. The number of new nonfood grocery items (beauty and personal care; health and hygiene; pet food and merchandise; and paper and cleaning products) increased in 2016 as well. During the Great Recession of 2008-09, consumers sought familiar products and avoided impulse buying. To appeal to bargain-seeking customers who wanted to simplify their shopping trips as well as purchase familiar products, retailers devoted less shelf space to new products. The number of new food and beverage products in U.S. retail outlets, as tracked by Mintel’s Global New Product Database, fell from 22,142 in 2007 to 15,637 in 2009. The number of new foods and beverages rose again in 2010, while new nonfood grocery items continued their downward trend until 2016. This chart appears on ERS’s Processing & Marketing topic page, updated on March 9, 2017.

Three post-farm industry groups account for about 60 cents of the U.S. food dollar

Thursday, September 1, 2016

In the United States, 31.1 cents of a typical dollar spent by consumers on domestically?produced food went to pay for services provided by foodservice establishments, 15.8 cents to food processors, and 13 cents to food retailers. ERS uses input-output analysis to calculate the value added, or cost contributions, to the U.S. food dollar from 12 industry groups in the food supply chain?expanded in 2012 to include agribusiness and wholesale trade. Agribusinesses produce products and services used by farmers, such as fertilizers and veterinary services. Wholesale trade companies provide services to all industry groups for the acquisition of products, such as when farmers purchase fertilizers produced by an agribusiness, restaurants purchase takeout containers from a packaging company, and grocery stores purchase produce grown on a U.S. farm. Wholesale trade accounted for 9.3 cents of the 2012 food dollar and agribusiness accounted for 2.4 cents. Previously, wholesaling costs were included with the costs of the industry groups the wholesale companies were servicing, and agribusiness costs were combined with farm production. In 2012, farm production accounted for 9.7 cents of the food dollar. This chart is available for years 1993 to 2012 from ERS?s Food Dollar Series data product updated on May 28, 2014.

Farm production costs accounted for 23 cents of the red meat food dollar and less than 3 cents for bakery products

Thursday, September 1, 2016

ERS?s Food Dollar Series was expanded in 2014 to include 16 commodity specific at-home food dollars that break out the value added, or cost contributions, from 12 industry groups in the U.S. food supply chain. Comparing the bakery-products dollar with the red meat-dollar highlights the larger role of processing and marketing costs for processed foods. For bakery products such as breads, crackers, cookies, and other sweet goods, processing costs were the largest cost component at 37.7 cents in 2007. In comparison, processing costs made up 18.1 cents of the beef, pork, and other red-meat food dollar, while farm production and agribusiness combined at 26.6 cents was the largest cost component. (Agribusinesses produce the services and products used by farmers, such as veterinary services and fertilizers.) For bakery products, farm-production costs was one of the smallest components at 2.3 cents, smaller than packaging and advertising. Statistics for these dollars and the other 14 commodity food dollars for benchmark years 1997, 2002, and 2007 can be found in ERS?s Food Dollar Series data product.

Three post-farm industry groups account for about 61 cents of the U.S. food dollar

Thursday, April 21, 2016

In 2014, total food-away-from-home expenditures of U.S. consumers, businesses, and government entities surpassed at-home food sales for the first time. This outcome is reflected in the 32.7-cent foodservices share of the U.S. food dollar claimed by restaurants and other eating-out places—its highest level during 1993 to 2014. It is also reflected in the 12.9-cent retail-trade share claimed by grocery stores and other food retailers, which is at its lowest level since 2002. ERS uses input-output analysis to calculate the value added, or cost contributions, from 12 industry groups in the food supply chain. Annual shifts in food dollar shares between industry groups occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from the mix of foods that consumers purchase to relative input costs. A growing share of the food dollar has gone to farm producers, up 1.7 cents since 2009 to 10.4 cents in 2014, while food processing’s share is down 2.1 cents since 2009. This chart is available for years 1993 to 2014 and can be found in ERS’s Food Dollar Series data product, updated on March 30, 2016.

Meat and poultry plants employ 31 percent of U.S. food manufacturing workers

Friday, July 24, 2015

In 2013, the U.S. food and beverage manufacturing sector employed about 1.5 million people, or just over 1 percent of all U.S. nonfarm employment. Within the U.S. manufacturing sector, food and beverage manufacturing employees accounted for the largest percentage of employees (14 percent). In over 31,000 food and beverage manufacturing plants located throughout the country, these 1.5 million workers were engaged in transforming raw agricultural materials into products for intermediate or final consumption. Manufacturing jobs include processing, inspecting, packing, janitorial and guard services, product development, recordkeeping, and nonproduction duties such as sales, delivery, advertising, and clerical and routine office functions. Meat and poultry plants employed the largest percentage of food and beverage manufacturing workers, followed by bakeries, and fruit and vegetable processing plants. This chart appears in the ERS data product, Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials.

Food companies reduced trans fats in new products from 2005 to 2010

Monday, November 18, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on November 7th that it plans to take further steps to reduce trans fats in processed foods. Since 2006, the FDA has required food manufacturers to post the amount of trans fats contained in their products. In response to the labeling regulations and media attention to the negative health effects of trans fat consumption, food manufacturers reduced their use of trans fats. ERS researchers found that the average trans fat level for new bakery products (including reformulated ones) declined from 0.49 grams per serving in 2005 to 0.13 grams in 2010—a decline of 73 percent. Trans fat levels for new prepared meals, desserts, snacks, and processed fish, meat, and egg products declined by about 50 percent over the period. More information about trans fats in new food products can be found in the ERS report, New Food Choices Free of Trans Fats Better Align U.S. Diets With Health Recommendations, EIB-95, April 2012.

Taste perceptions may trump health concerns when it comes to fat and sodium in foods

Friday, July 12, 2013

While Americans may be willing to forgo calories in their soft drinks and desserts, they seem less willing to embrace foods with lower fat and sodium levels. Mandatory nutrition labeling and consumer concerns about fat prompted food manufacturers to offer lower fat versions of high-fat foods in the early and mid-1990s. Products with “low/no fat” claims grew from 9 percent of all new products in 1989 to over 25 percent in 1996. But many consumers found the taste of these new fat-free and low-fat foods disappointing, which may have led companies to limit their use of low/no fat claims. From 1997 to 2001, the percentage of new products with low/no fat claims fell from 22 to 10 percent. Concerns that consumers associate poor taste with reduced-sodium foods may have contributed to fewer low/no sodium claims, as well. Products claiming to be “low/no sodium,” “low/no salt,” or “no salt added” fell from 12 percent of all new products in 1989 to 3 percent in 2001, before rising to 5 percent in 2010. This chart appears in “Obesity and Other Health Concerns Lead Food Companies To Step Up Health and Nutrient Claims” in ERS’s July 2013 Amber Waves magazine.

"Gluten-free" and "No trans fats" appearing on more new food products

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Over 7,000 new food and beverage products (including reformulated ones) appeared on grocery store shelves in 2010, and 3,134 of them carried health- and nutrition-related claims, such as “low sugar” or “high fiber,” on their packages. Claims related to gluten, trans fats, and calories were among those with the biggest increases over 2001-10. In 2010, 12 percent of new products claimed to be “gluten free,” up from 1 percent in 2001. Increases in claims related to calories, fiber, and sugar marked a reversal from previous trends during the 1990s. For example, the percent of new products showcasing their fiber contents, which had been falling since 1989, began to increase in 1998. Greater emphasis on health and nutrient claims likely reflects consumer interest in nutrition and obesity stemming from increased coverage of these topics by public and private sources and the media. The statistics for this chart are from the ERS report, Introduction of New Food Products With Voluntary Health- and Nutrition-Related Claims, 1989-2010, February 2013.

Farm share of U.S. food dollar up in 2011

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

For each dollar spent in 2011 by U.S. consumers on domestically produced food, U.S. farmers sold 15.5 cents (farm share) of farm products, on average. The remaining 84.5 cents (marketing share) come from costs for transporting, packaging, processing, retailing, and other costs to market these farm commodities to domestic food consumers. ERS uses input-output analysis to calculate the average farm share and marketing share for the total food dollar, which includes both grocery store and eating out purchases. After falling to 14.1 cents in 2010, the farm share in 2011 rose to a level comparable with 2007-08 levels. This chart is from the Food Dollar Series data product on the ERS website, updated March 5, 2013.

Food manufacturing accounts for 14 percent of all U.S. manufacturing employees

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In 2011, the U.S. food and beverage manufacturing sector employed about 1.5 million people, or about 14 percent of all U.S. manufacturing employees, and just over 1 percent of all U.S. nonfarm employment. In almost 30,000 food manufacturing plants (as of 2007) located throughout the country, these 1.5 million workers were engaged in transforming raw agricultural materials into products for intermediate or final consumption. Some products become ingredients for other food products, such as syrup used to make soft drinks. Meat and poultry plants employed the largest percentage of food and beverage manufacturing workers (32 percent), followed by bakeries (17 percent), and fruit and vegetable processing plants (11 percent). This chart appears in the Processing & Marketing topic page on the ERS website, updated February 2013.

Just over 43 percent of new food products in 2010 carried health and nutrition claims

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Food companies may seek to woo customers by placing voluntary health- and nutrition-related claims, such as “low fat” or “high fiber,” on their products’ packages. According to a recent ERS report, new food products (including reformulated ones) bearing health- and nutrition-related claims accounted for 43.1 percent of all new U.S. food and beverage products in 2010, up from 25.2 percent in 2001 and 34.6 percent in 1989. The downward trend in new products with health- and nutrition-related claims during 1989-2001 suggests that the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 may have prevented nonqualifying products from making these claims. This chart appears in the ERS report, Introduction of New Food Products With Voluntary Health- and Nutrition-Related Claims, 1989-2010, February 2013.

Farm share of retail price higher for frozen concentrate orange juice

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In 2010, Americans consumed 3.4 gallons of orange juice per person. While some families may have squeezed their own, most probably chose other options for their at-home consumption of orange juice, including purchasing frozen concentrated juice to be mixed with water, or ready-to-drink, not from concentrate (NFC) juice. Greater costs for marketing services like packaging and transportation for NFC juices show up in their higher retail prices. For the 2010-11 growing season, NFC orange juice sold in retail stores for $6.86 per gallon, on average, and frozen concentrate for $4.73 per gallon when reconstituted. While the amount of value-adding services is higher for NFC juice, the farm value of fresh Florida oranges used in both types of juice is the same--$1.04 per gallon in 2010-11. Thus, the farm share of retail price is higher for frozen concentrated orange juice. In 2010-11, the farm share was 22 percent for frozen concentrate, compared to 15 percent for NFC. This chart is based on ERS’s farm share statistics found in the Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer data product, updated November 2012.

Farm share of retail whole milk price rose in 2010 and 2011

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Transforming milk supplied by farmers into the dairy products consumers buy at retail food stores requires processing, packaging, and transportation. Costs for these and other value-adding services also account for a substantial portion of a food's retail price. ERS compares prices paid by consumers for selected dairy products with those received by farmers for milk to calculate the farm share of the retail price. Since 2000, the farm share of a gallon of whole milk has fluctuated between 45 percent and 58 percent, with the highest shares seen in 2007 and 2011. A sharp decrease in farm prices pushed down the farm value of a gallon of whole milk to $1.43 in 2009. As farm prices recovered over the next few years, the farm value rose to $1.75 in 2010 and $2.07 in 2011. The farm share of the retail price simultaneously rose from 46 percent in 2009 to 54 percent in 2010 and 58 percent in 2011. More information on ERS's farm share data can be found in the Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer data product, updated November 14, 2012.

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.

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