Food Spending

'Incomes normally rise faster than food expenditures, but in 1990, food spending as a percentage of income rose slightly. Much of the growth in food spending came from people eating more outside the home, where prices are higher than in grocery stores. Rising incomes are chiefly responsible for the increased spending on food away from home. Much of the increase in household income is due to a rise in the number of households with more than one earner. Such households generally have more money and less time, and eat out more often, than single-earner households. Food and alcoholic beverage expenditures in the United States totaled $626 billion in 1990, 6 percent more than in 1989 (table 1). Total spending for food to be eaten at home rose 5.2 percent from 1989 to 1990, while expenditures for food away from home increased 7.2 percent. Since 1965, away-from-home food expenditures have increased nearly ninefold, which is double the rate of increase of athome expenditures (table 1). People are eating out more as incomes rise and as more women are employed outside the home. Spending for alcoholic beverages rose 4 percent from 1989. In real terms (once adjusted for inflation), however, total overall food sales rose just 0.3 percent between 1989 and 1990. A 2.1-percent increase in real spending for food away from home was offset by a 1.1 -percent decline in real spending for food at home.

Issue Date:
Jul 07 1991
Publication Type:
Journal Article
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Record Identifier:
Published in:
Food Review/ National Food Review, 14, 3
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 Record created 2017-12-18, last modified 2020-10-28

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