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  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: September 2012

    FTS-353, September 27, 2012

    Adverse weather is behind the forecast smaller U.S. apple, pear, and grape crops in 2012.

  • What Role Do Food and Beverage Prices Have on Diet and Health Outcomes?

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    Factors in consumer response to price changes include income, size of the price change, availability of substitutes, and expected length of price changes. See this and other features in September Amber Waves.

  • Retail Dairy Prices Respond Differently to Farm Milk Price Shocks

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    ERS model results show that farm milk price shocks are not transmitted instantaneously to retail for whole milk or Cheddar cheese. The nature of price transmission is also very different for whole milk and Cheddar cheese.

  • In the Long Run: Public Expenditures Stable at Around 6 Percent of Total Food Spending Since 1990

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    In 2010, families and individuals accounted for 82.8 percent of the $1.2 trillion in total U.S. food spending.

  • Food Processing Costs Per Food-at-Home Dollar Rose Sharply in 2009 and 2010

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    In 2010, about 35 cents from each dollar that U.S. consumers spent on food at grocery and other retail foodstores went to food processing establishments like flour mills, meatpacking plants, and dairy processors. This equates to an increase of around 14 percent since 2007, when the share was about 31 cents per dollar spent.

  • Dynamic PEATSim Model Documenting Its Use in Analyzing Global Commodity Markets

    TB-1933, July 18, 2012

    This report documents the updated version of the Partial Equilibrium Agricultural Trade Simulation (PEATSim) model developed by USDA's Economic Research Service. PEATSim is a global model, covering 31 commodities and 27 countries/regions. The model, consistent with economic theory, provides a flexible country and commodity aggregation and accounts for cross-commodity linkages and interactions. The report includes a presentation and discussion of the structure and specific features of the revamped model, along with the theoretical underpinnings. It also documents an application of the model to illustrate its dynamic structure and to demonstrate the differential behavior.

  • 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.

  • Fresh Vegetables and Salty Snacks Cost More in Urban Locales

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2012

    ERS examined geographic variation in retail prices for two foods that differ in handling requirements and perishability, as well as in nutritional profiles--fresh vegetables and salty snacks. Findings show that households are likely to face higher prices for each of these foods when certain economic and demographic conditions exist in their community.

  • Food Retailers Adjust Private-Label Prices as Costs and Consumer Demand Change

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    ERS researchers examined nonsale prices of both private-label (store brand) foods and national brands in two periods: May 2008 to June 2009 and July 2009 to August 2010. Private label prices fluctuated more than prices of national brands between the recessionary period and post-recession period.

  • Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide

    ERR-130, December 30, 2011

    ERS quantifies investment trends by for-profit companies in food manufacturing, biofuels, and agricultural input R&D and explores how the trends are affected by changes in industry structure.

  • A Wide Variety of Fruit and Vegetables Are Affordable for SNAP Recipients

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2011

    Recent ERS research suggests that low-income Americans can meet the Dietary Guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption with a wide selection of fresh and processed products and stay within a limited budget.

  • Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States

    ERR-128, November 04, 2011

    ERS explores farmers' use of both direct-to-consumer marketing (such as farmers markets) and intermediated channels (such as grocers and restaurants) to sell food to consumers in their local areas.

  • Consumers Cut Back on Convenience but not Necessarily Quantity, When Incomes Fall

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2011

    ERS researchers find that convenience is one food characteristic for which recession-constrained consumers will reduce expenditures. Specifically, sales of bagged leafy greens decrease relative to sales of unpackaged leafy greens when income levels fall.

  • Why Another Food Commodity Price Spike?

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2011

    Food prices jumped in 2010-11, the second price spike within 3 years. Longer term financial, agricultural, and demographic trends, exacerbated by short-term production shortfalls, set up conditions for the increases.

  • 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.

  • The Expansion of Modern Grocery Retailing and Trade in Developing Countries

    ERR-122, July 12, 2011

    Modern grocery retailing has been expanding rapidly in developing countries, with implications for food demand, farmers' income, and trade.

  • Food Commodity Cost Pass-Through to Food Prices Not Uniform

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    A significant portion of farm price changes typically shows up in wholesale wheat flour and beef prices. Retail beef and bread prices, in contrast, have a more complicated and often times less direct response to wholesale price changes.

  • A New Look at Where Our Food Dollars Go

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    In February 2011, ERS introduced a new data product called the food dollar series that uses BLS annual input-output tables to provide a more complete accounting of U.S. food spending at both grocery stores and eating places.

  • The WIC Fruit and Vegetable Cash Voucher: Does Regional Price Variation Affect Buying Power?

    EIB-75, May 04, 2011

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods to low-income women, infants, and children at nutritional risk. Since October 2009, WIC packages have included a fixed-value voucher for purchasing fruits and vegetables. Although this should help increase fruit and vegetable consumption for all WIC participants, regional price variation could lead to different buying power-and nutritional benefits-across the country. Using 2004-06 Nielsen Homescan data, the authors examine the prices of fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, and canned) in 26 metropolitan market areas to determine how price variations affect the voucher's purchasing power. The authors find that the 20 most commonly purchased fruits and vegetables cost 30-70 percent more in the highest priced market areas than in the lowest, implying that WIC participants in more expensive areas might be able to purchase fewer fruits and vegetables than those living where these items are cheaper. The lowest priced market for fruits and vegetables was the Nashville, Birmingham, Memphis, and Louisville area, while the highest was San Francisco.

  • In the Long Run: Food Spending Dipped During Recession

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    U.S. expenditures on food at home and away from home grew over the past 50 years, but food-away-from-home expenditures increased more rapidly. During the recent recession, however, inflation-adjusted spending on both food at home and away from home fell.