Food and nutrition: market data and statistics
In recent decades, the food industry has continued to expand on a seemingly unending trajectory of growth and its development has been almost as constant as its expansion. This has resulted in huge changes, not only to the types of food available and variety on offer, but also to the way that food is being distributed.
Food statistics dealing with annual retail and food service sales in the United States, for example, showcase many fascinating numbers, from revenue figures of major food companies to individual food consumption trends in a various countries. According to other released data, food sales in the United States have been steadily growing since 1990, amounting to around 670 billion dollars in 2009. Recent surveys show that retail and food sales totalled around four trillion U.S. dollars in the same year.
Trends in consumption of separate food products in the USA, visible, for example, in food statistics on per capita consumption of lamb and mutton are especially interesting. According to statistics from 2009, the average consumption of butter per capita in the United States was 4.9 pounds. Frozen yoghurt suffered a drop in popularity, from two pounds per person in 2000 to an average of 1.10 in 2009. Sherbet did not experience a setback during these years, staying at 1.10 pound per capita. The same goes for eggs, though the consumption rate was significantly higher: 246 eggs per person in 2009. Interestingly, also in 2009, around 179 egg shells were consumed per person. Other food statistics report the per capita consumption of chocolate to be highest in Switzerland, at 12.4 kilos, with Germany following at 11.4 kilos. According to recent figures, milk consumption is increasing worldwide.
Food production is, of course, a money-making business and the battle for successful sales in this field is just as intense as in any other. It is also closely connected with such issues as sustainable development and a good use of resources, as well as fair trade and ethics. Statistics on the revenues of the world's largest food retail companies will confirm this. The ten largest food production companies in the world include Kraft, Pepsi and Nestlé. Supermarket chains are another interesting branch to observe. Based on figures from 2010, retail sales of the largest supermarket chains in the United States were led by Kroger with over 71 million U.S. dollars in revenue.
Photo: Biswarup Ganguly, wikimedia/cc