Food Prices, Expenditures & Costs

ERS develops and monitors indicators of individual, household, and market-level food consumption, prices, expenditures, food marketing costs, and farm-to-retail price spreads. Food choices are influenced by prices and income as well as other factors. ERS has acquired proprietary household and retail scanner data from market research firm Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) for use in food economics research.

ERS produces key data products and conducts research on:

  • Scanner Data: Food economics—including the use of proprietary household scanner data—to examine household food-at-home expenditures. Additional information is available on the Using Scanner Data page.
  • Fruit and Vegetable Prices: The cost of fruits and vegetables, estimating average prices for over 150 commonly consumed fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, using 2013 and 2016 retail scanner data from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI).
  • Food Expenditure Series (FES): FES is a comprehensive data set that measures the value of the U.S. food system by quantifying the value of food acquired in the United States by type of product, outlet, and purchaser. FES measures the value of food acquired and the value of food produced at home, donated, and furnished to employees and institutionalized persons. Interactive Chart: Food Expenditures provides interactive data visualizations for users.
  • Food Dollar Series: The Food Dollar Series measures U.S. consumers’ annual expenditures on domestically produced food. This data series is composed of three primary series—the marketing bill series, the industry group series, and the primary factor series—that illustrate different aspects of the food supply chain.
  • Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer: Price spreads compare the prices paid by consumers for food with the prices farmers receive for their corresponding commodities. Interactive Chart: Price Spreads and Food Markets provides interactive data visualizations for users.
  • Weekly Retail Food Sales: The Weekly Retail Food Sales data product reveals how retail food sales have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales of food at retail establishments by week are provided with breakdowns by food category and State.