Editors' Pick Charts of Note 2018
This chart gallery is a collection of the best Charts of Note from 2018. These charts were selected by ERS editors as those worthy of a second read because they provide context for the year’s headlines or share key insights from ERS research.
Monday, April 16, 2018
ERS researchers used household-level data from Information Resources Inc. to investigate how food spending patterns differ by household income and age of the household food shopper. The researchers found that as per person income rises, households spend a larger portion of their at-home food expenditures on vegetables. This was true for all four generations examined, though the increase for Traditionalists was small. Poorer Millennials assigned lower shares of at-home food spending to vegetables than Traditionalists and Baby Boomers with similar incomes. Millennials with higher incomes apportioned more of their food budgets to vegetables, surpassing Traditionalists when per capita household income was around $30,000. The wealthiest Millennial households (per capita income greater than $50,000) dedicated about 8 percent of their food budgets to vegetables, compared to around 6 percent for the other generation groups in the same income decile. The rise in vegetable purchases among wealthier Millennials may reflect Millennials’ preference for healthy foods. A version of this chart appears in the ERS report, Food Purchase Decisions of Millennial Households Compared to Other Generations, released December 2017.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
In 2016—of a typical dollar spent by U.S. consumers at grocery stores and restaurants on domestically produced food—50.6 cents were received by hired labor in the form of salaries and benefits. That marked the second year in a row that labor’s share was over half of the food dollar, reflecting higher spending on eating out, as well as small increases in labor costs for foodservice workers over time. Foodservice labor—servers, cooks, and others—received 22.3 cents of the food dollar in 2016, up from 21.7 cents in 2015. Salaries and benefits for non-foodservice labor were down 0.3 cent from 2015. After foodservices, the next two largest sources of labor costs in 2016 were retailing and wholesaling (11.1 cents) and food processing and packaging (8.7 cents). Farm production relies less on hired labor than other food related industries do, and—combined with agribusinesses that provide specialized farm inputs—contributed only 2.1 cents of 2016’s food dollar labor costs. Many factors drive year-to-year changes in labor’s share of the food dollar, from the adoption of labor-saving technologies to changes in average wage rates. This chart is from ERS’s Food Dollar Series data product.