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  • A Revised and Expanded Food Dollar Series: A Better Understanding of Our Food Costs

    ERR-114, February 24, 2011

    A new and expanded ERS food dollar series provides a more detailed answer to the question of where our food dollars go (e.g., the farm share and the share among the various supply chain industry groups)

  • Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Updated Estimates of Distance to Supermarkets Using 2010 Data

    ERR-143, November 28, 2012

    ERS updates data on spatial access to affordable, healthy food, measuring distance to the nearest supermarkets for the U.S. population and considering factors like vehicle ownership and income level of households and areas.

  • Americans’ Food Choices at Home and Away: How Do They Compare With Recommendations?

    Amber Waves, February 21, 2013

    In grocery stores, Americans underspend on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and overspend on refined grains, fats, and sugars/sweets, compared with dietary guidance Away-from-home foods are even less consistent with dietary guidance.

  • 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.

  • Changes in Income Have Small Effect on Where a Household Shops for Milk

    Amber Waves, July 01, 2013

    Despite having cheaper options, U.S. households purchase most fluid milk in supermarkets or supercenters, suggesting that other factors beyond the price of one product play a role in consumer shopping behavior. Also, even large changes in income do not lead most households to change their preferred store type to buy milk.

  • China's Dairy Supply and Demand

    LDPM-282-01, December 15, 2017

    The future of China's dairy supply depends on increased domestic production and greater trade for dairy. China's growing dairy production provides opportunities for U.S exports of alfalfa and other inputs.

  • Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit

    EFAN-02013, July 01, 2002

    This report provides a toolkit of standardized measurement tools for assessing various aspects of community food security. It includes a general guide to community assessment and focused materials for examining six basic assessment components related to community food security. These include guides for profiling general community characteristics and community food resources as well as materials for assessing household food security, food resource accessibility, food availability and affordability, and community food production resources. Data collection tools include secondary data sources, focus group guides, and a food store survey instrument. The toolkit was developed through a collaborative process that was initiated at the community Food Security Assessment Conference sponsored by ERS in June 1999. It is designed for use by community-based nonprofit organizations and business groups, local government officials, private citizens, and community planners.

  • 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.

  • Consumer Acceptance of Irradiated Meat and Poultry Products

    AIB-757, August 31, 2000

    The Federal Government began allowing food manufacturers to irradiate raw meat and meat products to control pathogenic microorganisms in February 2000. Consumer acceptance of irradiated foods could affect public health because many foodborne illnesses occur when consumers handle or eat meat or poultry contaminated by microbial pathogens. However, food manufacturers have been slow to adopt irradiation, partly because of the perception that relatively few consumers are willing to buy irradiated foods. A recent survey by the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) confirmed this perception: only half of the adult residents of the FoodNet sites were willing to buy irradiated ground beef or chicken, and only a fourth were willing to pay a premium for these products, which cost more to produce than comparable nonirradiated products. These findings suggest that the impact of food irradiation on public health will be limited unless consumer preferences change, perhaps in response to educational messages about the safety and benefits of food irradiation.

  • Consumers Devote a Higher Share of Food Spending to Fruits and Vegetables in Supermarkets Than In Supercenters

    Amber Waves, June 02, 2014

    ERS researchers examined food purchasing decisions at conventional supermarkets and supercenters and found that U.S. households make significantly different food purchasing decisions at the two store types—differences that have implications for dietary quality.

  • Convergence in Global Food Demand and Delivery

    ERR-56, March 17, 2008

    Globalization and income growth are resulting in increasing similarities worldwide in food purchasing patterns and food delivery mechanisms.

  • Cost Containment in the WIC Program: Vendor Peer Groups and Reimbursement Rates

    ERR-171, August 19, 2014

    ERS examines two possible strategies for containing WIC program costs-inducing small vendors to lower prices, and eliminating the vendors in each vendor peer group (organized by size and geographic location) who have the highest prices.

  • Cost Pass-Through in the U.S. Coffee Industry

    ERR-38, March 13, 2007

    ERS uses data from the coffee industry to examine to what extent changes in commodity costs affect manufacturer and retail prices.

  • Country-of-Origin Labeling: Theory and Observation

    WRS-0402, January 23, 2004

    This report examines the economic rationale behind the various claims about the effects of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, thereby identifying the most likely outcomes. Profits motivate firms to innovate and introduce thousands of new food products each year to satisfy consumers' demand. Yet, food suppliers have generally not emphasized, advertised, or labeled food with U.S. country of origin. The infrequency of "Made in USA" labels on food suggests suppliers do not believe domestic origin is an attribute that can attract much consumer interest. We find little evidence that suppliers would have difficulty supplying such labels if there were sufficient consumer interest.

  • Despite Slow Growth From 2005 to 2015, Independent Grocery Stores Remain Important for Rural Communities

    Amber Waves, February 05, 2018

    In 2015, rural counties not adjacent to an urban county had an average of 2.1 independent grocery stores—whose owners operate fewer than four stores—compared with 1.9 chain grocery stores.

  • Did the Mandatory Requirement Aid the Market? Impact of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act

    LDPM-135-01, September 16, 2005

    This study focuses on fed cattle markets to compare the mandatory price reporting system developed by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service in 2001 with the previous voluntary reporting system. The study also evaluates whether the mandatory system has improved the amount and quality of information available to the market. Results show that mandatory reporting has given the market additional information about prices for different kinds of sales transactions. The trend toward formula purchases has slowed since mandatory price reporting was implemented, and the volume of cattle moving under negotiated purchases has increased.

  • ERS Tracks Meat Prices at the Retail, Wholesale, and Farm Levels

    Amber Waves, October 05, 2015

    Each month the Economic Research Service calculates farm-to-wholesale and wholesale-to-retail price spreads for beef, pork, and broilers. These price spreads show the difference between what consumers pay for a certain type of meat at the retail store and what producers actually receive for that meat.

  • Eating and Health Module User's Guide

    AP-047, April 05, 2010

    The Eating & Health (EH) Module of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) collects additional data to analyze relationships among time use patterns and eating patterns, nutrition, and obesity; food and nutrition assistance programs; and grocery shopping and meal preparation. This User's Guide provides detailed guidance to researchers on how to use the EH Module to measure time use and eating patterns.

  • Eligibility Requirements for SNAP Retailers: Balancing Access, Nutrition, and Integrity

    Amber Waves, January 25, 2018

    Tighter standards for food stores authorized to redeem SNAP benefits have implications for small retailers and could decrease the number of SNAP-authorized stores, which may affect participant access.

  • Expanding Demand for Organic Foods Brings Changes in Marketing

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    The past decade has seen major changes in organic product retailing. In the late 1990s, the natural products channel was the primary outlet for purchasing organic food. By 2006, approximately half of all organic food was sold through the conventional channel, which includes chain supermarkets and warehouse club stores.