1994 Spending for Food Away From Home Outpaces Food at Home

F ood spending in the United States rose to $647 billion in 1994, a 5.3-percent increase over 1993 (table 1). Expenditures for eating out (food away from home) led the way, rising 6.1 percent to $303.2 billion. Retail food expenditures (food at home) rose 4.6 percent to $343.7 billion. Adjusted for inflation, however, total food spending rose 2.6 percent in 1994--up 1.0 percent for food at home and up 4.3 percent for food away from home. Personal food spending increased less than that for most other major categories of personal consumption since the 1990-91 recession, as is typical. Personal food spending differs from total food spending because it excludes expenditures by governments and businesses. Personal expenditures for all food rose 5.7 percent in 1994, while spending on transportation, cars, and gasoline went up 6.7 percent, and medical care and drugs increased 6.6 percent (table 2). Of the 5.7-percent increase for all personal food expenditures in 1994, there was a 7.4-percent growth in away-from-home food expenses compared with only a 4.7-percent increase in expenditures for food at home. In 1994, only 11.4 percent of disposable personal income of households was spent on food-6.8 percent went to food at home and 4.5 percent to food away from home. That compares with 12.4 percent of disposable personal income going to food in 1984. About 25 percent of disposable personal income in 1994 was spent on housing (including supplies, fuel, and furniture), 16 percent on medical care and drugs, 11 percent on transportation (including cars and gasoline), and only 4 percent was allocated to savings. Once adjusted for inflation and population growth, total food spending per person fell 0.9 percent in 1994 (fig. 1). But the trend toward eating out more continues, with a 3.2-percent increase partially offsetting a 4.3-percent decrease in food at home to soften the decline in per capita real food spending.

Issue Date:
May 05 1995
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, Volume 18, Issue 2
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 Record created 2017-12-19, last modified 2018-01-22

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