Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer
Food processors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and foodservice providers transform raw agricultural commodities into convenient food products for U.S. consumers. Value added to commodities through these companies’ marketing services accounts for a substantial portion of consumer food prices.
USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) compares prices consumers pay for food with prices farmers receive for corresponding commodities. This dataset reports these comparisons for a variety of foods sold through retail stores such as supermarkets and supercenters.
Comparisons are made for individual foods and groupings of foods—market baskets—that represent what a typical U.S. household buys at retail in a year. The retail costs of these baskets are compared to the money farmers receive for a corresponding basket of agricultural commodities.
Long-run trends in farm-to-consumer price spreads may reflect a variety of underlying economic conditions. These underlying conditions include advances in technology used to process and distribute food, and changes in prices for inputs such as labor, energy, and raw agricultural commodities. The Highlights and Interactive Charts data visualizations allow users to explore changes in farm-to-consumer price spreads over time.
Individual files within the dataset are updated regularly as the underlying data become available.
ERS price spreads for meat, pork, poultry, and eggs are in the Meat Price Spreads data product. A different method is used to calculate monthly price spreads for beef, pork, broilers, turkeys, and eggs.
Data Training Webinar: ERS economists Hayden Stewart, Bill Hahn, and Jeffrey Hyman provide an overview of the Price Spreads from Farm to Consumers and Meat Price Spreads data products as well as a tutorial on how to find and use the data.