Publications

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  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: August 2012

    SSSM-288, August 15, 2012

    The Sugar and Sweetener Outlook reviews the sugar and sweetener outlook for the United States and Mexico, emphasizing changes made in the most recent month's edition of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: August 2012

    OCS-12H, August 13, 2012

    ERS -- working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies -- conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: July 2012

    SSSM-287, July 16, 2012

    The Sugar and Sweetener Outlook reviews the sugar and sweetener outlook for the United States and Mexico, emphasizing changes made in the most recent month's edition of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: July 2012

    OCS-12G, July 12, 2012

    ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: June 2012

    FTS-352, June 28, 2012

    This season's Southern Hemisphere blueberry shipments to the United States (primarily from Chile) have already ended and sourcing has now transitioned to domestic production. Current domestic pricing for fresh blueberries is above last year's, caused by an early finish to Chilean shipments this winter and anticipated smaller crops in Florida and Georgia-production States that are the earliest to come into blueberry season each year.

  • Estimating the Range of Food-Insecure Households in India

    ERR-133, May 30, 2012

    Focusing on India, which has the world's largest food-insecure population, ERS analyzes a large household data set used by India's government to track household food security.

  • Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price

    EIB-96, May 16, 2012

    How food items are priced (by calorie, by weight, or by average amount consumed) has a large effect on which foods are determined to be more expensive.

  • How Much Time Do Americans Spend on Food?

    EIB-86, November 09, 2011

    ERS presents an overview of Americans' eating and other food-related time-use patterns, including grocery shopping, meal preparation, and teenagers' time-use patterns in relation to school meals.

  • How Americans Rate Their Diet Quality: An Increasingly Realistic Perspective

    EIB-83, September 23, 2011

    ERS finds that there is a heightened realism among Americans about their own diets, and examines how perceptions of diet quality vary with food expenditures, household food availability, and eating patterns.

  • International Food Security Assessment, 2011-21

    GFA-22, July 15, 2011

    ERS assesses the food security situation in 77 developing countries, including estimates for 2011 and projections for the next decade. The report is the latest in an annual series.

  • International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns: An Update Using 2005 International Comparison Program Data

    TB-1929, March 22, 2011

    In a 2003 report, International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns, ERS economists estimated income and price elasticities of demand for broad consumption categories and food categories across 114 countries using 1996 International Comparison Program (ICP) data. This report updates that analysis with an estimated two-stage demand system across 144 countries using 2005 ICP data. Advances in ICP data collection since 1996 led to better results and more accurate income and price elasticity estimates. Low-income countries spend a greater portion of their budget on necessities, such as food, while richer countries spend a greater proportion of their income on luxuries, such as recreation. Low-value staples, such as cereals, account for a larger share of the food budget in poorer countries, while high-value food items are a larger share of the food budget in richer countries. Overall, low-income countries are more responsive to changes in income and food prices and, therefore, make larger adjustments to their food consumption pattern when incomes and prices change. However, adjustments to price and income changes are not uniform across all food categories. Staple food consumption changes the least, while consumption of higher-value food items changes the most.

  • How Much Do Fruits and Vegetables Cost?

    EIB-71, February 01, 2011

    ERS used retail scanner data to estimate the average prices of 153 fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. The report includes estimates of the cost of meeting the recommendations of USDA's recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines

  • Consumer-Level Food Loss Estimates and Their Use in the ERS Loss-Adjusted Food Availability Data

    TB-1927, January 03, 2011

    The Food Availability (per capita) Data System developed by USDA's Economic Research Service tracks annual food and nutrient availability for many commodities. The Food Availability data series in this system overstates actual consumption, so ERS has included an additional series, the Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data, to adjust the Food Availability data for nonedible food parts and food losses, including losses from farm to retail, at retail, and at the consumer level. In this report, we propose new consumer-level loss estimates for "cooking loss and uneaten food" of the edible share to replace those currently used in the Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data and propose their adoption for the entire data span (1970 to the most recent year in the series). The proposed loss percentages are calculated by subtracting food consumption estimates from food purchase or availability estimates for each food. These calculations are adjusted with information from an expert panel experienced in analyzing food consumption data. In general, the proposed food loss estimates for individual foods indicate substantial differences from the currently used estimates. Although some estimates indicate smaller loss percentages than the currently used estimates, many are larger. Overall, if the proposed loss estimates are used in the ERS loss-adjusted series, the average American would consume 17.3 pounds less each year, or 41.9 fewer calories per day, than suggested by the currently used loss estimates.

  • An Analysis of U.S. Household Dairy Demand

    TB-1928, December 13, 2010

    This report examines retail purchase data for 12 dairy products and margarine from the Nielsen 2007 Homescan retail data. Selected demographic and socioeconomic variables included in the Nielsen data are analyzed for their effects on aggregate demand and expenditure elasticities for the selected products. A censored demand system is used to derive the demand elasticities. The resulting estimates revealed that the magnitudes of 10 of the 13 own-price elasticities are greater than 1; substitute relationships are found among most dairy categories; expenditure elasticities are 1 or greater for 7 of the 13 products; and demographic and socioeconomic variables are statistically significant contributors to dairy demand.

  • 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

  • Local Food Supply Chains Use Diverse Business Models To Satisfy Demand

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    Local foods are reaching consumers through an expanding array of supply chain arrangements and marketing outlets. They may be sold in supermarkets; small specialty stores or regional chains; restaurants, schools, or hospitals; or a variety of direct-to-consumer outlets.

  • The U.S. and Mexican Dry Bean Sectors

    VGS-341-01, December 01, 2010

    This report examines the significance of dry bean trade to the member countries of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), provides a detailed understanding of supply, demand, and policy in the U.S. and Mexican dry bean sectors, and considers the outlook for these industries.

  • Canned Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in the United States: An Updated Report to Congress

    AP-050, November 10, 2010

    The Senate Report 111-039 accompanying S. 1406, the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) prepare and publish a report regarding consumer perceptions of canned fruits and vegetables. In the absence of consumer surveys, the report relies on consumption and spending estimates to reveal attitudes of the U.S. population toward canned produce. This report updates Canned Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in the United States: Report to Congress (October 2008), using more recent data through 2008, where available.

  • How Much Lower Are Prices at Discount Stores? An Examination of Retail Food Prices

    ERR-105, October 22, 2010

    ERS compares prices for a wide range of foods in traditional retail food stores and nontraditional discount stores. Findings show nontraditional retailers offer lower prices than traditional stores, even controlling for brand and package size.

  • How Food Away From Home Affects Children's Diet Quality

    ERR-104, October 04, 2010

    Compared with meals and snacks prepared at home, food prepared away from home increases caloric intake of children, especially older children. Among older children, food away from home also lowers their daily diet quality.