Quick Facts

The food dollar series provides an overview of the food system, with estimates of the farm share and of the distribution of food-dollar value-added shares over time:

  • For every dollar spent in 2019 in the U.S. on domestically produced food (food dollar), U.S. farmers sold 14.3 cents of farm products to non-farm establishments (farm share), up from 14.2 cents in 2018. With revisions to 2018 statistics reflected in the current updates, the 2019 farm share is the first year-to-year increase in the farm share since 2011. 
  • Food processing costs decreased for a 4th-straight year, reaching 14.7 cents per food dollar. This decrease is the lowest level reported by the current series, which started with statistics back to 1993.
  • Food-service costs per food dollar rose in 2019, to 38.5 cents, increasing for 10 of the past 11 years since 2008 when food service costs were 29.0 cents.
  • Both wholesale trade costs (8.4 cents) and retail trade costs (12.1 cents) remained at their lowest proportions reported by the current series, which provides statistics back to 1993. 
  • These latest updates to the food dollar series cover the period just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the United States and do not reflect any pandemic induced impacts to any of the statistical series reported in the food-dollar-data product.