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 conducts research on:

  • the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food which is probably the most widely used indicator of changes in retail food prices, 
  • food expenditures which are calculated by estimating current sales or receipts by each type of store that sells food, allowing the analysis of changes in American food consumption patterns. For an interactive data visualization, see Interactive Chart: Food Expenditures,
  • the food dollar series which measures annual expenditures by U.S. consumers 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 shed light on different aspects of the food supply chain, and
  • price spreads which compares the prices paid by consumers for food with the prices received by farmers for their corresponding commodities. For an interactive data visualization, see Interactive Chart: Price Spreads and Food Markets.