ERS Charts of Note
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.