The Quarterly Food-Away-From-Home Prices (QFAFHP) data set provides quarterly prices (not including taxes) for food away from home (FAFH) and alcohol, both at home and away from home. Food away from home is an integral component of the typical American diet and food budget; it also plays a key role in the nutrition and health of Americans. Data on variation in food prices over time and across regions allow researchers to estimate how price changes affect the demand for different products—such as through changes in quantities purchased or expenditures—and, to examine how changes in demand, in turn, affect nutritional and health outcomes.

The average prices estimated in this data product were produced by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index microdata. These estimates do not reflect official estimates of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. QFAFHP contains quarterly average prices (not including taxes) at the national, census regional, and census divisional levels for different products across establishment types—for example, entrees and meals at full-service restaurants, nonalcoholic beverages at limited-service restaurants, fast-food hamburgers, school lunches, beer at home, and wine away from home. The data help researchers analyze variations in demand by establishment type, specific foods, and region, as well as the economic determinants of diet quality and health outcomes.

QFAFHP data are available in Excel and comma-delimited (CSV) files. The data are contained in four spreadsheets consisting of all data, data by census division, data by census region, and data for all of the United States. The data cover all four quarters from 1998 through 2011 and the first and second quarters of 2012. Average prices for geographic areas in a particular quarter and year with fewer than three individual observations are left blank. The Excel files include a spreadsheet that describes the food products and geographic detail available. The variables included in the data set are year, quarter of the year, average price, standard error, type of food or alcohol product, geographic area, and number of individual observations used to calculate average prices. 

Complementary price data for food at home are available in ERS's Quarterly Food-at-Home Price Database (QFAHPD).

The four Excel spreadsheet files are as follows:

Data Set Last Updated Next Update
QFAFHP--all geographic areas
Data file for all geographic areas 5/21/2014
QFAFHP--United States
Data file for United States 5/21/2014
Data file for regions 5/21/2014
Data file for divisions 5/21/2014