WIC and the Retail Price of Infant Formula

106 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2005

See all articles by Victor Oliveira

Victor Oliveira

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Mark Prell

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

David M. Smallwood

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Elizabeth Frazao

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

Rebates from infant formula manufacturers to State agencies that administer the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) support over one-quarter of all WIC participants. However, concerns have been raised that WIC and its infant formula rebate program may significantly affect the infant formula prices faced by non-WIC consumers. This report presents findings from the most comprehensive national study of infant formula prices at the retail level. For a given set of wholesale prices, WIC and its infant formula rebate program resulted in modest increases in the supermarket price of infant formula, especially in States with a high percentage of WIC formula-fed infants. However, lower priced infant formulas are available to non-WIC consumers in most areas of the country, and the number of these lower priced alternatives is increasing over time.

Suggested Citation

Oliveira, Victor and Prell, Mark and Smallwood, David M. and Frazao, Elizabeth, WIC and the Retail Price of Infant Formula (May 2004). USDA-ERS Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report No. 39-1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=754926 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.754926

Victor Oliveira (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5434 (Phone)

Mark Prell

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States

David M. Smallwood

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States

Elizabeth Frazao

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5455 (Phone)

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