Consumers’ Interpretation of Food Labels with Production Claims Can Influence Purchases

Food labels can help consumers select products with attributes they value that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to verify, such as whether a package of chicken at the grocery store was raised without antibiotics. To make informed product choices, however, consumers must be able to properly interpret food labels. In some cases, consumers may not fully understand a label’s meaning or a food label may conjure perceptions that lack scientific backing or are against scientific consensus.

Food Taxes Linked With Spending Habits of Lower Income Households

State and local governments typically levy a sales tax on purchases of clothes, computers, automobiles, and other products. Foods purchased at grocery stores, supercenters, and other retail venues are exempt from these sales taxes in 32 States and Washington, D.C. States and counties that tax food at home (FAH) are mostly in the Southeast and Midwest, such as Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Dakota.

Food Spending by U.S. Consumers Fell Almost 8% in 2020

The USDA, Economic Research Service’s (ERS) Food Expenditure Series (FES) provides a comprehensive measure of the total value of all food purchases in the United States. The series tracks spending on food intended to be prepared at home, such as from grocery stores, and food that is prepared away from home, such as at restaurants. The FES allows Government agencies, academic researchers, and industry stakeholders to assess and track developments in consumer food purchasing behaviors and the U.S. food supply.

Farm Milk Components and Their Use Among Dairy Products Have Shifted Over Time

In 2000, U.S. farm milk contained 3.68 percent milk fat and 8.72 percent skim solids on average. By 2020, the milk-fat percentage had grown to 3.95 percent, and the skim-solids percentage had increased to 8.94 percent. For skim solids, content increased gradually from 2000 to 2020, while milk-fat content began rising in 2011, after remaining relatively steady from 2000 to 2010.

U.S. Supplies of Vegetables Available to Eat in 2019 Down Slightly From 2000, But Variety Has Grown

February 4, 2021 Andrzej Blazejczyk, USDA ERS

Data from the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) reveal that Americans are slowly expanding the variety of vegetables on their plates. From 2000 to 2019, dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables (excluding tomatoes), and legumes increased their combined share of the vegetables available to eat in the United States from 16 percent to 22 percent.