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Rising sales shares of largest U.S. food retailers dampened by 2007-09 recession

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sales by the 20 largest food retailers operating in the United States totaled $418 billion in 2011, accounting for 63.7 percent of total U.S. grocery store sales. The top 4 and 8 food retailers accounted for 37.3 percent and 50.5 percent, respectively, of total U.S. grocery store sales in 2011. With the Great Recession (December 2007 to June 2009), these sales shares began to flatten in 2008, contrasting with the longer term trend of increasing concentration of sales among the Nation’s largest grocery retailers. Mergers and acquisitions contributed to increasing concentration during the mid-to-late 1990s, with divestitures and internal growth playing a larger role since 2007. One contributing factor to the increases over the 1993-2008 period has been the rapid growth of Wal-Mart Supercenters. Their food and nonfood grocery sales amounted to an estimated $109 billion in 2011, making it the largest U.S. retailer of grocery products. In comparison, second-place Kroger had sales of $71 billion in 2011. This chart appears in the Retailing & Wholesaling topic page on the ERS website, updated March 27, 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.

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 prices higher in 2012, but not for all categories

Monday, July 2, 2012

For most food categories and for food at home in general, prices in the first quarter of 2012 were higher than they were a year ago. Consumers faced 4.5 percent higher food prices on average at the grocery store in January-March 2012, compared to January-March 2011. Fats and oils prices were 11.3 percent higher in first quarter 2012 versus first quarter 2011, and beef prices were 8.5 percent higher. However, the warm 2011-12 winter and favorable growing conditions resulted in a year-over-year decrease in produce prices for the first quarter of 2012, with fruit prices down 1.1 percent and vegetable prices down 7.4 percent. More information on food price changes and forecasts can be found in the Food Price Outlook data product on the ERS website, updated June 25, 2012.

Grocery store sales growth, 1999-2009

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

During the past decade, there were many years in which grocery store sales growth (in current dollars) exceeded the rate of inflation. In 2008 and 2009-a period of recession and economic uncertainty-traditional grocery retailers experienced negative inflation-adjusted growth. The slow and negative inflation-adjusted growth in annual sales at traditional grocery stores was likely due in part to increased competition from nontraditional food retailers-such as warehouse clubs, supercenters, drugstores, and other retailers-as more consumers economized on food spending. This chart is from the Food Marketing System in the U.S. briefing room on the ERS website, updated in November 2010.

Global expansion in modern grocery retailing

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Though modern formats-hypermarkets, supermarkets, and chained convenience stores-are proliferating in developing countries, the developed world continues to have the largest per capita market for both total grocery expenditures and total grocery sales in modern formats. Per capita expenditures in North America (excluding Mexico), Western Europe, and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) dwarfed those of other regions in 2009; grocery expenditures were at least 3 times larger than in Eastern Europe and over 10 times larger than in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. These regional differences widen for the share of grocery expenditures in modern formats. This graph comes from the ERS report, The Expansion of Modern Grocery Retailing and Trade in Developing Countries, ERR-122, July 2011.

Share of foodstore sales by retail segment, 2009

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Traditional foodstores in the U.S. sold $548 billion of retail food and nonfood products in 2009. Grocery stores, including supermarkets, accounted for the largest share of foodstore sales (89.6 percent), followed by convenience stores without gasoline (6.4 percent). Specialized foodstores, including meat and seafood markets, produce markets, retail bakeries, and candy and nut stores, accounted for the remaining 4 percent of the total. This chart is from the Food Marketing System in the U.S. briefing room on the ERS website, updated in November 2010.

Largest four grocery retailers accounted for 37 percent of U.S. grocery sales in 2009

Friday, July 8, 2011

U.S. sales by the 20 largest food retailers totaled $404.2 billion in 2009, amounting to 64.2 percent of U.S. grocery store sales, an increase from 39.2 percent in 1992. Although shares held by the largest 4, 8, and 20 supermarket and supercenter retailers decreased slightly from 2008 to 2009, the longer term trend shows an increasing concentration of sales among the Nation's largest grocery retailers. Contributing factors to these increases over the past decade include mergers and acquisitions among food retailers and the rapid growth of Wal-Mart supercenters. This chart is from ERS's Food Marketing System in the U.S. briefing room, November 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.

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