Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • 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.

  • Long-Term Growth in U.S. Cheese Consumption May Slow

    LDPM-193-01, August 12, 2010

    Cheese production and markets have emerged as important elements of the dairy industry over the past three decades. Supply-and-use analysis shows an upward trend in total cheese consumption over the past three decades. Nielsen 2005 retail Homescan data were used to analyze cheese consumption by location as well as by income, age, and racial/ethnic groups. Own-price and expenditure demand elasticities were also calculated using the Nielsen data. To the extent that increases in consumers' food expenditure translate into more cheese purchases, it is expected that total cheese consumption will continue to rise. However, changes in the demographic profile of the U.S. population may somewhat slow future growth.

  • Food Security Assessment, 2010-20

    GFA-21, July 08, 2010

    Food security in 70 developing countries is estimated to have improved between 2009 and 2010, due in part to economic recovery in many of these countries. Over the next decade, the overall number of food-insecure people is projected to decline slightly.

  • Taxing Caloric Sweetened Beverages: Potential Effects on Beverage Consumption, Calorie Intake, and Obesity

    ERR-100, July 02, 2010

    ERS analyzes the effects of a hypothetical tax on caloric sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, and powdered mixes. What choices would consumers make, and what would it mean for their calorie intake?

  • Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Are Coupons More Effective than Pure Price Discounts?

    ERR-96, June 03, 2010

    ERS compares the potential effectiveness of coupons versus price discounts in encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption among participants in Federal food and nutrition assistance programs.

  • Tracking Changes in Dietary Awareness and Food Choices

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    A number of constituencies—government nutrition and health agencies, food manufacturers, public health advocates, and food marketing firms—depend on reliable data to track changes in the food habits, behavior, and choices of U.S. consumers. ERS has partnered with the National Center for Health Statistics to gather such data.

  • 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.

  • Cross-Price Elasticities of Demand Across 114 Countries

    TB-1925, March 19, 2010

    This report presents a simple methodology for calculating cross-price elasticities across countries, using the Frisch own-price elasticity. Cross-price elasticities are calculated for 9 major consumption categories from the 1996 International Comparison Program data across 114 countries. The consumption categories are: food, beverage, and tobacco; clothing and footwear; education; gross rent, fuel, and power; house furnishings and operations; medical care; recreation; transport and communications; and "other" items. Additionally, cross-price elasticities are calculated and reported for a two-good demand system of food and nonfood. The elasticity estimates from this report are the only available consistent cross-country cross-price elasticity estimates across this large a number of countries and consumption categories.

  • Energy Use in the U.S. Food System

    ERR-94, March 10, 2010

    Energy is an important input in growing, processing, packaging, distributing, storing, preparing, serving, and disposing of food. Analysis using the two most recent U.S. benchmark input-output accounts and a national energy data system shows that in the United States, use of energy along the food chain for food purchases by or for U.S. households increased between 1997 and 2002 at more than six times the rate of increase in total domestic energy use. This increase in food-related energy flows is over 80 percent of energy flow increases nationwide over the period. The use of more energy-intensive technologies throughout the U.S. food system accounted for half of this increase, with the remainder attributed to population growth and higher real (inflation-adjusted) per capita food expenditures. A projection of food-related energy use based on 2007 total U.S. energy consumption and food expenditure data and the benchmark 2002 input-output accounts suggests that food-related energy use as a share of the national energy budget grew from 14.4 percent in 2002 to an estimated 15.7 percent in 2007.

  • Guess Who’s Turning 100? Tracking a Century of American Eating

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    ERS maintains the only time-series data on U.S. food availability in the country. The data help in monitoring the potential for the food supply to meet the nutritional needs of Americans and in examining consumption trends. A look at 100 years of American eating reveals the technological, political, social, and economic forces affecting food availability.

  • In the Long Run: Milk and Coffee Displaced by Other Beverage Options

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    Per capita availability (a proxy for consumption) of beverage milk and coffee in the United States peaked in the mid-1940s and then gradually declined as consumers took advantage of an ever-increasing selection of beverages.

  • Birth Year Affects Demand for At-Home Fresh Vegetables

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    Spending less money for fresh vegetables at grocery stores suggests that younger generations are buying smaller quantities, or purchasing less expensive vegetables, or both. If younger Americans are consuming less at-home fresh vegetables, the quality of their diets may suffer unless they consume more vegetables in prepared foods or when eating out.

  • The Impact of Food Away From Home on Adult Diet Quality

    ERR-90, February 16, 2010

    Consumption data show that for the average adult, meals away from home have an impact on daily caloric intake and diet quality.

  • Shopping For, Preparing, and Eating Food: Where Does the Time Go?

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    In 2006-07, SNAP participants spent 47 minutes per person per day cooking, serving, and cleaning up after meals, versus 40 minutes for low-income nonparticipants and 30 minutes for higher income individuals. SNAP participants also spent less time eating and drinking per day than low-income nonparticipants and higher income individuals.

  • Price Reductions Have Little Effect on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by Low-Income Americans

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2009

    ERS researchers examined the effects of a 5-, 10-, and 20-percent discount on the price of fruit and vegetables on purchases by low-income Americans. Findings show that with a 10-percent price discount at the retail level, low-income households are predicted to increase their consumption of fruit by 2.1 to 5.2 percent and vegetables by 2.1 to 4.9 percent.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2009

    VGS-333-01, August 19, 2009

    Growth over time in the demand for fresh vegetables for at-home consumption may slow because of differences in the behavior of younger and older birth cohorts. A birth cohort includes people born in the same year and is similar in concept to a generation. People born around the same point in history may share common behaviors that they carry throughout their lives independent of age. People born more recently are found to spend less money for fresh vegetables than older Americans do. Changes in how people purchase and consume food may help to explain these effects.

  • Food Security Assessment, 2008-09

    GFA-20, June 30, 2009

    Food security in 70 developing countries is projected to deteriorate over the next decade, according to USDA's Economic Research Service. After rising nearly 11 percent from 2007 to 2008, the number of food-insecure people in the developing countries analyzed by ERS researchers is estimated to rise to 833 million in 2009, an almost 2-percent rise from 2008 to 2009. Despite a decline in food prices in late 2008, deteriorating purchasing power and food security are expected in 2009 because of the growing financial deficits and higher inflation that have occurred in recent years. Food-insecure people are defined as those consuming less than the nutritional target of 2,100 calories per day per person.