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Examining Food Store Scanner Data: A Comparison of the IRI InfoScan Data With Other Data Sets, 2008–2012

David Levin (), Danton Noriega, Chris Dicken, Abigail M. Okrent, Matt Harding and Michael Lovenheim ()

No 283705, Technical Bulletins from United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

Abstract: USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has purchased proprietary retail scanner data (InfoScan) since 2008 to examine food policy questions. To determine how representative the data are, this report compares the number of stores and sales revenue reported in the InfoScan data with the same information from other datasets. The InfoScan data purchased by ERS are limited to a subset of stores that agree to release their data and cover only food sales, while many of the other sources cover total sales. In addition, InfoScan includes only grocery stores having annual sales greater or equal to $2 million, while some of the other sources are not so limited. The subset of InfoScan stores in the ERS dataset results in a lower store count relative to other datasets, and coverage varies geographically. However, the sales reported in the ERS subset of InfoScan better align with sales reported in other datasets than do estimates of store counts, since InfoScan encompasses larger retail stores. The report discusses implications for using InfoScan for food economics research.

Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45
Date: 2018-10
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.283705

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