New data from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows consumer spending on food reached a record in 2022. Real, or inflation-adjusted, annual food spending in the United States increased steadily from 1997 to 2022, except in 2008 and 2009 during the Great Recession and in 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Food spending includes food at home, described as food intended for off-premises consumption from retailers such as grocery stores, and food away from home, described as food purchased at outlets such as restaurants or cafeterias. Total food spending increased 70 percent from 1997 to 2022. During this period, food at home spending increased at a slower rate, 53 percent, than for food away from home at 89 percent.
Total food spending increased on an annual basis by 7.2 percent in 2021 and 4.5 percent in 2022. Food away from home spending increases, 19 percent in 2021 and eight percent in 2022, drove overall increases in food spending.