U.S. consumers spent an average of 11.3% of their disposable personal income on food in 2022, a level not observed since the 1980s, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.
Disposable personal income is the amount of money consumers have left to spend or save after paying taxes.
Consumers spent 5.62% of their incomes on food at supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouse club stores, supercenters, and other retailers in 2022.
Consumers also spent 5.64% on food at restaurants, fast-food establishments, schools, and other places offering food away from home.
The recent volatility in spending was driven by consumers’ sudden drop in eating out at the beginning of the pandemic followed by a return to food-away-from-home purchases as pandemic-related restrictions and concerns eased.