food price comparison
July 30, 2007 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Anyone know of a website that provides comprehensive food price data throughout the U.S.? For instance, lists the current price of top round beef, a gallon of milk, etc. I want to compare prices per region/city.
posted by sluglicker to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think what you want is in the Consumer Price Index under "average price data."
posted by runtina at 11:09 AM on July 30, 2007

No, but thanks for trying. I'm not looking for average consumer prices or historic prices, but the specific current price of say a pork loin roast in Cleveland or Denver or Boise, etc. The current price I would pay if I walked into the typical supermarket.
posted by sluglicker at 11:30 AM on July 30, 2007

This data is usually kept a pretty tight secret. Often you will see "agents" in grocery stores scanning their competitor's bar codes to compare prices to what they have on the shelf. You might of found a niche market though. I bet many folks would pay to know where the lowest price for any particular products was located.
posted by bkeene12 at 11:48 AM on July 30, 2007

I'm googlin' for ya, but specifics are scarce. This might be something best achieved as your own project. I'd be happy to participate!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:56 AM on July 30, 2007

How much are you willing to pay for this sort of information? There are many brokers out there who would be willing to sell this to you.
posted by unixrat at 12:31 PM on July 30, 2007

I know of no single source of information, but this would be a great project. I would be especially interesting to see how stores use certain products as loss leaders (I once read something about Wal-mart and how it prices milk).

Also semi related, my grandmother routinely checks with all members of my family to see what the price of ground beef and various types of cheese is in our respective locations- if she was computer savvy I would have her make a website.
posted by buttercup at 2:47 PM on July 30, 2007

Interesting topic. Years ago I worked at a newspaper than carried those supermarket inserts. The big local chain had two different inserts for two different (local) areas. The price differences were often startling.

Just this weekend, I bought gas at a chain I often frequent. This one was ~25 miles away from my local one, and their price was 15 cents per gallon cheaper
posted by wordwhiz at 3:08 PM on July 30, 2007

I also tried to narrow it down to just beef at regional prices and got almost nothing. I would like to look into this more, possibly as a project, and would like to hear your ideas. Ambrosia Voyeur, email me. Thanks everyone.
posted by sluglicker at 7:19 PM on July 30, 2007

Go Project! Project idea: include international comparisons (with cross-currency converter).
posted by sagwalla at 2:47 AM on July 31, 2007

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