Economic Research Report No. (ERR-114) 49 pp

February 2011

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

A new ERS food dollar series measures annual expenditures on domestically produced food by individuals living in the United States and provides a detailed answer to the question "For what do our food dollars pay?" This new data product replaces the old marketing bill series, which was discontinued due to measurement problems and limited scope. The new food dollar series is composed of three primary series, shedding light on different aspects of evolving supply chain relationships. The marketing bill series, like the old marketing bill series, identifies the distribution of the food dollar between farm and marketing shares. The industry group series identifies the distribution of the food dollar among 10 distinct food supply chain industry groups. The primary factor series identifies the distribution of the food dollar in terms of U.S. worker salaries and benefits, rents to food industry property owners, taxes, and imports. To provide even more information about modern food supply chains, each of the three primary series is further disaggregated by commodity groupings (food/food and beverage), expenditure categories (total food expenditures, food at home, food away from home), and two dollar denominations (nominal, real). The input-output methodology behind the new food dollar series and comparisons with the old marketing bill series are presented. Several key findings of the new series are highlighted and discussed.

For the data behind the report, see the Food Dollar Series.

Keywords: Food dollar, farm share, marketing bill, industry value added, primary factor value added, input-output analysis, supply chain analysis

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