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The Impact Of Big-Box Stores On Retail Food Prices And The Consumer Price Index

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Author Info

  • Leibtag, Ephraim S.

Abstract

Over the past 10 years, the growth of nontraditional retail food outlets has transformed the food market landscape, increasing the variety of shopping and food options available to consumers, as well as price variation in retail food markets. This report focuses on these dynamics and how they affect food price variation across store format types. The differences in prices across store formats are especially noteworthy when compared with standard measures of food price inflation over time. Over the past 20 years, annual food price changes, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), have averaged just 3 percent per year, while food prices for similar products can vary by more than 10 percent across store formats at any one point in time. Since the current CPI for food does not fully take into account the lower price option of nontraditional retailers, a gap exists between price change as measured using scanner data versus the CPI estimate, even for the relatively low food inflation period of 1998-2003.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/7238
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Research Report with number 7238.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:7238

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Related research

Keywords: food prices; retail markets; CPI; dairy; nontraditional retailers; Agribusiness; Demand and Price Analysis; Industrial Organization;

References

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  1. Kaufman, Phillip R. & MacDonald, James M. & Lutz, Steve M. & Smallwood, David M., 1997. "Do the Poor Pay More for Food? Item Selection and Price Differences Affect Low-Income Household Food Costs," Agricultural Economics Reports 34065, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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Cited by:
  1. Kuchler, Fred & Stewart, Hayden, 2008. "Price Trends Are Similar for Fruits, Vegetables, and Snack Foods," Economic Research Report 56447, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Leibtag, Ephraim S. & Barker, Catherine & Dutko, Paula, 2010. "How Much Lower Are Prices at Discount Stores? An Examination of Retail Food Prices," Economic Research Report 96767, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Andrews, Margaret S. & Bhatta, Rhea & Ver Ploeg, Michele, 2012. "Did the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Increase in SNAP Benefits Reduce the Impact of Food Deserts?," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA 123520, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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