At USDA's Economic Research Service, the Market and Trade Economics Division joined forces/budgets with the Food Economics Division to price and, hopefully, purchase an expanded set of monthly retail meat price data. The expanded price series would include a larger number of lamb, turkey, and chicken cuts along with package bacon and possibly some deli cuts. If a contract for the monthly data is procured, the new data series will begin in January 2008 and overlap the existing price data series, which ended in April 2008. (Statement provided by USDA-ERS on July 21, 2009.) If
you have questions please contact the LMIC.
This database contains monthly average retail price data for selected
cuts of red meat and poultry, based on electronic supermarket scanner
data. USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) developed this database
and the methodology. Updates and oversight are now
coordinated by the LMIC with ERS funding (re-established in 2007). While not based on a random sample, the raw data underlying the
database are from supermarkets across the United States that account for
approximately 20 percent of U.S. supermarket sales.
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Summary tables provide quick access to average retail prices
(weighted by quantity purchased) for beef, pork, poultry, lamb, and
searchable database allows users to create custom tables, which can
be saved as *.csv or *.html files. Users can select time periods
(beginning in January 2001), individual meat categories, and one of
three report formats. The resulting tables report monthly
weighted-average prices, an index of volume sold (with the monthly
average for 2001=100), and the percent of volume sold with feature
Retail scanner price data is
also available for download in a convenient
form of excel files containing the data for all the months beginning
from January of 2001 categorized as
Lamb & Veal.
documentation of the database also are available.
random-weight items that are species-specific and sold in the fresh
meat department of traditional supermarkets are included in the
database. Multi-species items, canned meats, products containing meat
(such as frozen dinners), and deli products are not included. Although
most bacon and sausage are sold in fixed-weight packages, the database
does contain information on random-weight bacon and sausage.
Updates are planned for the 20th of the month, or the closest business
day. The data have a 2-month reporting lag; that is, prices for May are
reported in July.
January 2004. Some supermarkets encountered labor stoppages
in November, which impacted sales volume. In addition, several lamb cuts
have been added to the searchable database. They are lamb chops, lamb
roasts, leg of lamb, lamb leg, lamb shoulder, and lamb loin.
Minor changes are made in the data when needed in response to
continuing quality checks and audits. These changes are usually a result
of additional data or information becoming available. Major revisions to
the database are noted on the
data revisions page.
Legislation passed in 1999 mandates collection of retail meat
prices, and reflects in part concerns about the effects of industry
concentration on prices and reduced bargaining power of independent
livestock producers. Although the
Bureau of Labor Statistics
collects retail prices on some of the same cuts of meat, this database
was originally developed by ERS and includes price data on more cuts, information on volumes sold,
and the discount effects of
ERS continues to use BLS prices to calculate
meat price spreads from farm to wholesale and from farm to retail.
However, users can compute alternative price spreads using the meat
retail scanner price data.
Item groupings by scanner data category gives examples of individual
meat cuts that are in the scanner data categories (in *.xls format).
Scanner and BLS categories match BLS meat categories to the
corresponding category in the retail scanner data (in *.xls format).
Definitions for the volume index, random-weight items, and other
terms related to scanner data and meat prices.
Questions and answers
questions such as: Which stores are included in the reporting of
supermarket scanner data? How are data weighted to arrive at a national
USDA-ERS related briefing rooms
marketing and price spreads
BLS consumer price indexes
Advisory committee: William
Hahn, ERS; Erica Rosa, LMIC; James Mintert, Kansas State University; Russell
Tronstad, University of Arizona; David Anderson, Texas A&M University; Steve Meyer,
Representing National Pork Board.