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  • The Food Marketing System in 1995

    AIB-731, April 15, 1997

    The number of new food processing plants rose sharply in 1995. Profitability from food manufacturing and retailing operations (excluding interest expense) continued to increase, reflecting strong sales, wage and producer price stability, and streamlining of operations. The number of mergers and leveraged buyouts fell. New product introductions, consumer advertising expenditures, common stock prices and the positive U.S. balance of trade in processed food reached new highs. This report analyzes and assesses yearly developments in growth, conduct, performance, and structure of the institutions--food processors, wholesalers, retailers, and foodservice firms--that comprise the Nation's food marketing system. Industry growth includes changes in sales for each of the four sectors, product mix, and external economic factors affecting the food system. Conduct measures firms' competitive behavior, which includes such price and nonprice competition as advertising, promotion, new product introduction, new store formats, price discounting, and menu variety. Performance includes profitability, capital expansion, foreign trade and investment, research and development, capacity use, equity market changes, and productivity. Structure developments include mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and leveraged buyouts, and changes in the number of companies and establishments.

  • U.S. Foreign Direct Investment in the Western Hemisphere Processed Food Industry

    AER-760, March 01, 1998

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) has become the leading means for U.S. processed food companies to participate in international markets. Affiliates of U.S.-owned food processing companies had $30 billion in sales throughout the Western Hemisphere in 1995, nearly 4 times the level of processed food exports. This report puts U.S. foreign direct investment and trade in processed foods to the region into global perspective, and finds evidence that, in the aggregate for the 1990's, trade and FDI are complementary--not competitive--means of accessing international food markets. Incomes have grown sufficiently in most countries to support growth in affiliate sales and U.S. exports, indicating a strong demand for a wide variety of processed foods.

  • Savvy Buyers Spur Food Safety Innovations in Meat Processing

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2004

    Though food safety and food safety innovations are desirable, meat processors face special challenges that weaken their incentives to invest in food safety improvements. Some restaurant chains and large retailers are setting and enforcing safety standards and creating markets for food safety. As a result, they are driving increases in food safety investments throughout the meat supply chain.

  • Time Is Money. . .and Dinner!

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Among women, time factors are more important than income in determining the time spent preparing food.

  • Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains

    ERR-99, June 21, 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.

  • Will Calorie Labeling in Restaurants Make a Difference?

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    A 2010 Federal law will require U.S. chain restaurants to display calorie information on their menus and menu boards. Will consumers use this information to make healthier food choices?

  • Food Spending Adjustments During Recessionary Times

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2011

    Faced with falling incomes and economic uncertainty, many Americans economized on their food purchases during the 2007-09 recession, particularly on food away from home.

  • Changes in Eating Patterns and Diet Quality Among Working-Age Adults, 2005-2010

    ERR-161, January 16, 2014

    Survey data show diet quality improvements from 2005 to 2010 among working-age adults, with changes in intake of calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and fiber, and fewer meals outside the home.

  • Less Eating Out, Improved Diets, and More Family Meals in the Wake of the Great Recession

    Amber Waves, March 04, 2014

    Between 2005 and 2010, Americans experienced large changes in employment and income that affected their food expenditures and intake. Once demographic characteristics unrelated to the Great Recession are controlled for, food-away-from-home (FAFH) calories among working-age adults declined about 15 percent, while the number of meals and snacks from FAFH declined 12 percent.

  • Healthy Vegetables Undermined by the Company They Keep

    Amber Waves, May 05, 2014

    When ERS researchers examined the types of vegetables and vegetable-containing foods eaten by Americans, they found that instead of eating vegetables in their simple, unadorned state, Americans often eat vegetables prepared in ways that add calories and sodium and remove dietary fiber.

  • Methodology for the Quarterly Food-Away-from-Home Prices Data

    TB-1938, May 21, 2014

    ERS's new Quarterly Food-Away-from-Home Prices (QFAFHP) data show substantial variation in prices across U.S. regions and food establishment types, with implications for analyses of food purchasing behavior and dietary outcomes.

  • Food Loss—Questions About the Amount and Causes Still Remain

    Amber Waves, June 02, 2014

    ERS estimates that 31 percent, or 133 billion pounds, of food available for consumption in U.S. grocery stores, restaurants, and homes went uneaten in 2010. Greater awareness of the amount of food loss—and where and why it occurs—may help spur public and private responses.

  • Consumers' Use of Nutrition Information When Eating Out

    EIB-127, June 27, 2014

    The Affordable Care Act will require posted nutrition information in many eating venues. ERS examines demographic traits and dietary habits of U.S. consumers of away-from-home food, establishing a baseline before the law is implemented.

  • Menu Labeling Imparts New Information About the Calorie Content of Restaurant Foods

    ERR-179, December 02, 2014

    As chain restaurants phase in calorie menu labeling, even consumers who discriminate between high- and low-calorie items can better weigh the healthfulness of restaurant foods and make finer adjustments in their food choices.

  • The Food Safety Performance of Ground Beef Suppliers to the National School Lunch Program

    ERR-180, December 22, 2014

    Overall, ERS found that on Salmonella spp tests, suppliers of ground beef to the National School Lunch Program equaled or surpassed the food safety performance of suppliers of ground beef to general commercial markets.

  • New Regulations Will Inform Consumers About Calories in Restaurant Foods

    Amber Waves, February 02, 2015

    New calorie labeling laws requiring chain restaurants and other eating places to post the calorie content of their offerings on menus and menu boards are most likely to influence food choices when consumers learn new, surprising information.

  • Recession Had Greater Impact on Visits to Sit-Down Restaurants Than Fast Food Places

    Amber Waves, March 02, 2015

    American Time Use Survey (ATUS) diaries from 2003-11 reveal that visits to sit-down restaurants declined during and after the 2007-09 recession, while fast food visits were little changed.

  • Economic Burden of Major Foodborne Illnesses Acquired in the United States

    EIB-140, May 12, 2015

    Each year, 1 in 6 people in the United States is sickened by a foodborne illness acquired in the States. ERS provides an overview of recent estimates of the economic burden imposed annually by 15 leading foodborne pathogens.

  • Most U.S. Households Do Their Main Grocery Shopping at Supermarkets and Supercenters Regardless of Income

    Amber Waves, August 03, 2015

    Data from USDA’s new FoodAPS survey reveal that SNAP participants and food-insecure households are less likely than higher income consumers to use their own vehicles for their primary food shopping, and more likely to use someone else's car, or to walk, bike, or take public transit.

  • Economies of Scale, the Lunch-Breakfast Ratio, and the Cost of USDA School Breakfasts and Lunches

    ERR-196, November 05, 2015

    Most schools serve fewer breakfasts than lunches, raising per-breakfast costs. Costs drop as more meals are served, but the effect is stronger for breakfasts. Balance in number of breakfasts vs. lunches served also affects per-meal costs.