I'm trying to find an open index of food prices [like the food one might find at a grocery store], either bulk prices or prices that might be in the store. Any ideas?

EDIT: I'm looking to compare regional prices of food staples in order to compare cost of living. For example, if eggs are on average $1/dozen in IL and $0.90/dozen in IN, that will have a major effect on how much people need to spend when they go shopping.

  • 1
    An index supposes a comparison. What comparison would you want to make? On the evolution of food prices? between countries?
    – Vince
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 11:14
  • 2
    It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. Please expand on your question with specific examples, how the data will be used, etc.
    – Kermit
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 13:41
  • I think Woodbridge Associates carries that kind of data, you'd have to get in touch with them directly though.
    – user791
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 6:48

5 Answers 5


It sounds like you want Consumer Price Indices for Food and Beverage for various metropolitan areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates just such indices: http://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/cu/cu.txt

Metropolitan Areas

area_code   area_name   
A101        New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA1  
A102        Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-DE-MD
A103        Boston-Brockton-Nashua, MA-NH-ME-CT
A104        Pittsburgh, PA
A207        Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, IL-IN-WI
A208        Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI
A209        St. Louis, MO-IL    
A210        Cleveland-Akron, OH
A211        Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI 
A212        Milwaukee-Racine, WI
A213        Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN   
A214        Kansas City, MO-KS      
A311        Washington-Baltimore, DC-MD-VA-WV       
A316        Dallas-Fort Worth, TX       
A318        Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX  
A319        Atlanta, GA     
A320        Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL   
A321        Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL     
A421        Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA 
A422        San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA  
A423        Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA    
A424        San Diego, CA   
A425        Portland-Salem, OR-WA   
A426        Honolulu, HI        
A427        Anchorage, AK       
A429        Phoenix-Mesa, AZ        

If you're looking for how prices vary over time, in the U.S., there's the Consumer Price Index, which includes various categories of food prices.

I've never dug into their raw data, so I don't know how much detail they make available (eg, comparisons by state or other region).


During the best city contest last year the Economist published a Worldwide Cost of Living Index which include food prices for multiple cities across the globe. Data are available under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license. Currently the Economist website is down, but I am sure you can find updated version on their website (I will try to update my answer).


I've found a couple of sources of retail prices in open access:

But the World Bank covers only 8 developing countries. And PriceStats shares only US prices with a 10-day lag and then sends to buy the rest from statestreet.com.


The BLS has detailed tables (though not down to individual commodities like eggs) for Regions, some individual States and some individual MSAs.


Here is a list of top pick items that are included in the calculation of the CPI (you will see that dozen eggs is included).

The item code for dozen eggs is: APU0000708111

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