Higher income households spend more per person on most food groups, especially beef, fish, cheese, vegetables, butter, and alcoholic beverages, than do lower income households. Elderly Americans spend less than younger people on food away from home and alcoholic beverages. Households in the Northeast and West spend more on food than those in the South and North Central regions, and nonblacks spend more on food than do blacks. Per person spending on food varies little across seasons. This study uses tobit analysis of the 1980-81 Continuing Consumer Expenditure Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics to measure effects of income and other demographic factors on per person spending for 28 food groups and alcoholic beverages. The results are combined with projections of income, age distribution, regional population shifts, racial mix, and population growth to project food spending to the year 2020. Food groups projected to increase most are food away from home, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and alcoholic beverages.


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