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Average Retail Cost of High-Quality Protein Foods


Nov 3, 2014

October’s Economic Research Service (ERS) update highlights eggs as the least expensive source of high-quality protein per standard USDA serving. The average price of eggs per dozen increased by 3 cents, resulting in eggs providing 35.3 grams of protein per dollar spent. Simultaneously, milk prices rose by 2 cents per gallon, leaving milk at only 34.8 grams of protein per dollar spent.

In looking at other top protein foods, the average prices of beef round roast, ground beef, chicken and pork chop rose by 32 cents, 21 cents, 4 cents and 14 cents per pound, respectively. These fluctuations left the rankings of these foods’ protein contents per dollar spent unchanged from last month.


Average Retail Cost of High Quality Protein Foods, Updated October 22, 2014

Complete Protein Food Avg. Cost1 Serving
Cost per Serving Calories per serving2

Protein per serving

Grams Protein 
Per Dollar Spent


Eggs, Grade A large

$1.97/doz.  1 egg $0.16  72 6.0 38

Milk, Reduced fat, 2% milkfat

$3.73/gal.3 8 oz. $0.23 122 8.0 35

Chicken Breast, Skinless (boneless)

$3.48/lb.4 3 oz. $0.65  97 18.0 28

Ground Beef, 90% lean meat

$5.83/lb.  3 oz. $1.09 150 17.0 16

Pork Chop, (boneless)

$4.50/lb.  3 oz. $0.84 123 17.5 21

Beef Round Roast, USDA Choice (boneless)

$5.58/lb.  3 oz. $1.05 166 17.5 17