Food Expenditure Series

The ERS Food Expenditure Series is a comprehensive data set that measures the U.S. food system, quantifying the value of food acquired in the United States by type of product, outlet, and purchaser. The data series measures the value of food acquired, including food and beverage sales (as well as taxes and tips), and the value of food produced at home, donated, and furnished to employees and institutionalized persons. The Food Expenditure Series is a valuable tool for government agencies, academics, and private sector stakeholders to assess and track developments in consumer food purchasing behaviors and the food supply. The food expenditures data complement current ERS data sets: Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System, Food Price Outlook, Food Dollar Series, and FoodAPS National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey.

Food expenditures are allocated annually between four types of products from various outlets and three types of purchasers and users. In addition to the annual estimates, sales of food at home (FAH) and food away from home (FAFH) are available on a monthly basis. The monthly estimates are bench-marked to the annual estimates with each annual revision.

Note that the source data and methods were comprehensively revised in 2018, resulting in a break from previously published food expenditures data from 1997 forward. See the Technical Bulletin by Abigail M. Okrent, Howard Elitzak, Tim Park, and Sarah Rehkamp for more detail:

Measuring the Value of the U.S. Food System: Revisions to the Food Expenditure Series

The previous food expenditure data series is available continuously from 1889 to 2014. For ease of use, these estimates have been organized in a tabular format consistent with the comprehensive revision (see the tables under Archived Food Expenditure Tables).

For data on expenditures on food and alcoholic beverages that were consumed at home by selected countries, see International Consumer and Food Industry Trends.


Data Set Last Updated Next Update
Current Food Expenditure Series
Nominal food and alcohol expenditures, with taxes and tips, for all purchasers 9/20/2018
Nominal food and alcohol expenditures, without taxes and tips, for all purchasers 9/20/2018
Constant dollar food and alcohol expenditures, with taxes and tips, for all purchasers 9/20/2018
Constant dollar food and alcohol expenditures, without taxes and tips, for all purchasers 9/20/2018
Normalized food expenditures by all purchasers and household final users 2/25/2019
Food expenditures by final purchaser 9/20/2018
Monthly sales of food, with taxes and tips, for all purchasers 4/1/2019
Archived Food Expenditure Tables
Nominal food expenditures, with taxes and tips, from previously-published estimates 9/20/2018
Food expenditures by final purchaser, from previously published estimates 2/5/2019
Normalized food expenditures by final purchasers and users, from previously-published estimates 9/20/2018
Monthly sales of food, with taxes and tips, from previously-published estimates 9/20/2018