Money spent on food increased 13% last year

Consumer spending on food last year hit levels not seen in more than 30 years, and habits formed during the pandemic likely played a role.

U.S. consumers spent about 11 percent of their disposable income on food in 2022. The Economic Research Service shows that is a number not seen since the 1980s. Data shows 5.62 percent of that was for food at places like grocery stores, while 5.64 percent was dished out at places like restaurants.

Also in 2022, the share spent on all food had the sharpest increase at nearly 13 percent. Researchers say that is because more consumers began going out for meals, again, after the pandemic. This year, food price increases appear to have cooled.

“Even though we’re seeing marginal increases this month, our year-over-year food price increases are still coming down. So, for food at home, prices in July of 2023 were up 3.6% from July of 2022. Price growth does not seem to have leveled off at a place that’s largely in line with long-term averages,” said Megan Sweitzer.

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