Publications

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  • An Assessment of Product Turnover in the U.S. Food Industry and Effects on Nutrient Content

    EIB-183, November 20, 2017

    ERS researchers assess U.S. food products’ marketplace entry and exit rates in 2008-12 and break down these changes across food categories. They also examine some of the implications product turnover may hold for nutritional content.

  • Number of Food and Beverage Processing Plants Varies Across the United States

    Amber Waves, November 06, 2017

    In 2015, five States—California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois—accounted for 38 percent of the Nation’s food and beverage processing plants.

  • Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress

    AP-068, January 29, 2015

    ERS details current economic information on local food producers, consumers, and policies, based on findings from several national surveys and a synthesis of recent literature.

  • Obesity and Other Health Concerns Lead Food Companies To Step Up Health and Nutrient Claims

    Amber Waves, July 01, 2013

    Food companies included voluntary health- or nutrition-related claims on more than 40 percent of new foods and beverages in 2010 – attributes such as low in fat, high in fiber, gluten-free, and sodium-free.

  • Introduction of New Food Products With Voluntary Health- and Nutrition-Related Claims, 1989-2010

    EIB-108, February 20, 2013

    New food products introduced with voluntary health- and nutrition-related claims accounted for 43.1 percent of all new U.S. food product introductions in 2010, up from 25.2 percent in 2001 and 34.6 percent in 1989.

  • New Food Choices Free of Trans Fats Better Align U.S. Diets With Health Recommendations

    EIB-95, April 18, 2012

    ERS examined recent reductions in the trans fat content of new food products, the use and market success of "no trans fats" package claims, and whether manufacturers are substituting healthful ingredients for trans fats.

  • Varied Interests Drive Growing Popularity of Local Foods

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    Local foods remain a small portion of U.S. agriculture. But as interest in local food systems has increased, so has the desire to understand how local food markets affect farmers, consumers, and communities

  • In the Long Run: Food Product Introductions Buck Long-Term Trend

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    U.S. food and beverage product introductions have increased for most of the last decade and a half. In 2009, however, U.S. food and beverage product introductions fell by 3,519 to 19,047, the second consecutive yearly reduction and the largest in at least 15 years.

  • Recession Brings Record Number of New Store-Brand Food Offerings

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    In 2009, the number of private-label (store brand) food and beverage products introduced by retailers set a new record. Store brands are expanding faster than well-known national brands, as retailers have become more adept at creating profitable private-label brands, and recession-strapped consumers have turned to lower priced foods.

  • Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues

    ERR-97, May 17, 2010

    A series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains in delivering locally produced food to consumers.

  • Twenty Years of Competition Reshape the U.S. Food Marketing System

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    Companies have devised a number of strategies to lower costs and stand out from the competition.

  • Food Product Introductions Continue To Set Records

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    A record 20,031 food products were introduced in 2006. Many manufacturers use product differentiation in their food marketing strategy. Many new food products are variations on existing products, such as new flavors, package sizes, brand names, or product claims.

  • Soft Drink Companies Make Splash in Bottled Water

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    U.S. consumers now drink more bottled water than any other beverage, except carbonated soft drinks. The four largest suppliers' share of bottled water sales rose from 52 percent in 1997 to 63 percent in 2002. Leveraged by their extensive bottling and distribution networks and advertising budgets, Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola entered the bottled water industry in the mid- to late-1990s and quickly ranked among the top four suppliers in the U.S.

  • The U.S. Food Marketing System: Recent Developments, 1997-2006

    ERR-42, May 31, 2007

    The increasing presence of nontraditional grocery retailers such as supercenters is generating new cost-cutting and differentiation strategies among traditional food retailers.

  • Hog Contracts Signal Producers To Improve Quality

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2005

    Many marketing contracts between packers and hog producers award price premiums for carcass leanness and weight, providing strong incentives for producers to raise lean hogs. But this leanness comes at a cost. The genetic lines that produced leaner hogs were often carriers of the "stress" gene, which is linked to the undesirable PSE condition. Packers have turned to marketing contracts to limit PSE problems by specifying genetic lines and hog handling procedures.

  • Pork Quality and the Role of Market Organization

    AER-835, November 08, 2004

    This study addresses changes in the organization of the U.S. pork industry, most notably marketing contracts between packers and producers, by exploring their function in addressing pork quality concerns. A number of developments brought quality concerns to the forefront. These include health concerns and corresponding preferences for lean pork, growing incidence of undesirable quality attributes (e.g., pale, soft, and exudative (PSE) meat, a result of breeding for leanness), heightened concerns over food safety and related regulatory programs, and expansion into global markets. Organizational arrangements can facilitate industry efforts to address pork quality needs by reducing measuring costs, controlling quality attributes that are difficult to measure, facilitating adaptations to changing quality standards, and reducing transaction costs associated with relationship-specific investments in branding programs.

  • Current Issues in Economics of Food Markets

    AIB-747, August 13, 2004

    These reports synthesize economic analyses of the complex relationships in food markets of interest to officials responsible for public policy, decisionmakers in the industry, and researchers. Topics addressed so far include the economizing practices of low-income households in making food purchases, the increasing vertical coordination and integration of the industry, the link between consolidation of retailers and orange juice prices, the effects of a higher minimum wage on food prices, how taxes affect food markets, and lessons learned from the use of rbST in dairy production.

  • Competition Alters the U.S. Food Marketing Landscape

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2003

    As competitive pressures mount to deliver specific products to meet consumer preferences, how products move from farmers to consumers is changing. Traditional grocery chains face mounting competition from warehouse clubs, supercenters, and the food-away-from home sector.

  • From Supply Push to Demand Pull: Agribusiness Strategies for Today's Consumers

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2003

    Changing U.S. demographics—more mature consumers, greater ethnic diversity, and larger incomes—are driving changes in consumer demand for food products. These changing preferences, along with technological advances and other changes in the economy, offer agribusiness companies new challenges and opportunities.

  • U.S. Hog and Poultry Marketing: Similar Paths, Similar Outcomes?

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2003

    Recent changes in the structure of the pork industry echo past changes in the poultry industry. How U.S. pork producers and processors sell and buy hogs has changed significantly since 1990. The use of long-term contracts has largely replaced production for the open, or spot, market. Over 70 percent of hogs are sold under contracts, where producers are required to deliver a specified number of hogs to the processor at a specified time. In return, the producer receives the spot price, adjusted for the size and quality of the hogs. These developments raise concerns by some about anticompetitive behavior of large processors and the demise of small, independent farmers. Others emphasize how contracts facilitate steady flows of high-quality farm products for processing, among other benefits.