U.S. food marketing sales likely will reach an estimated $555 billion in 1986, with food and beverage sales of $485 billion and $70 billion in nonfood sales, 5 percent over 1985. Food marketing will continue to be the largest U.S. marketing system, accounting for about one-tenth of both U.S. employment and gross national product (GNP). The food marketing system's contribution to GNP will be nearly nine times the value of the U.S. farm system's food-related contribution. Food manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers will rank first in sales among all manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers. This report analyzes these and other developments in the U.S. food marketing system.