Food Costs

From beef to bacon and cotton to cheese, local farmers and ranchers work hard to provide Americans with the safest and most affordable food supply in the world. U.S. consumers spend 10% of their disposable annual income on food. Consumers in other countries spend much more of their disposable income on food: France, 18%; Japan, 26%; Mexico, 33%; and India, 51%. It takes about 40 days for most Americans to earn enough disposable income to pay for their food consumed at home and away from home for the entire year. It takes the average American more than 100 days to earn enough income to pay federal, state and local taxes each year. Compared to other expenses facing America’s families, food is a bargain. Did you know that farmers and ranchers are paid only 19 cents on average of every food dollar that consumers spend on food at home and away from home? Where does the other 81 cents of every food dollar spent go?

  • 81 Cents (Off Farm)
    • Cost (marketing expenses associated with processing, wholesaling, distributing and retailing of food products) accounts for 81 cents of every retail dollar spent on food.
  • 19 Cents (Farmers & Ranchers)
    • Receive only 19 cents out of every retail dollar spent on food that is eaten at home and away from home. In 1980, farmers received 31 cents out of every retail dollar spent on food in America.

Other Cost...

  • Include property taxes and insurance; accounting and professional services; promotion; bad debts and many miscellaneous items.
    • 38.5 cents – Off Farm Labor
    • 8 cents – Packaging
    • 4 cents – Transportation
    • 3.5 cents – Energy
    • 4.5 cents – Profits
    • 4 cents – Advertising
    • 3.5 cents – Depreciation
    • 4.5 cents – Rent
    • 2.5 cents – Interest
    • 1.5 cents – Repairs
    • 3.5 cents – Business Taxes
    • 3 cents – Other Costs

Did You Know?

Farmers and ranchers are committed to helping consumers find solutions to eating healthy on a stretched budget.  America’s farmers and ranchers are committed to producing safe, abundant and healthy food.

Learn more!