Methodology for the Quarterly Food-Away-from- Home Prices Data

Accurate and detailed prices are a key component to analyze a variety of important questions related to consumer behavior. Given the importance of food-away-from-home (FAFH) consumption in a typical American’s diet, the variation in nutritional value across different types of FAFH meals, and evidence that prices may vary substantially across areas, Economic Research Service researchers created a novel dataset that can be used to study how prices may affect food choices, intake, and health outcomes. The Quarterly Food-Away-from-Home Prices (QFAFHP) data contain quarterly average prices without tax for meals and specific FAFH (e.g., all entrees and combination meals, soda, hamburgers, school lunches) from four types of FAFH establishments (full- and limitedservice restaurants, vending machines, and schools) and for alcoholic beverages (at home and away from home). The prices are further disaggregated for the entire Nation, four census regions, and nine census divisions. ERS developed QFAFHP as a complementary data product to the Quarterly Food-at-Home Price Database, which provides market-level food prices for food-at-home products based on the Nielsen Homescan data. This report describes in detail the methodology behind QFAFHP and the underlying data, composed of individual product prices collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Consumer Price Index.

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JEL Codes:
R10; C80; Q18
Series Statement:
Technical Bulletin 1938

 Record created 2019-07-31, last modified 2020-10-28

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