Food Expenditures

The ERS Food Expenditure Series contributes to the analysis of U.S. food production and consumption by constructing a comprehensive measure of the total value of all food expenditures by final purchasers. This series annually measures total U.S. food expenditures, including purchases by consumers, governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Because the term expenditure is often associated with household decisionmaking, it is important to recognize that ERS's series also includes nonhousehold purchases. For example, the series includes the dollar value of domestic food purchases by military personnel and their dependents at military commissary stores and exchanges, the value of commodities and food dollars donated by the Federal government to schools, and the value of food purchased by airlines for serving during flights.

ERS developed the series in 1987, and annual data are available from 1929 through 2014. The series also constitutes a measure of total sales through different food outlets, such as supermarkets, full-service and limited-service restaurants, mass merchandisers, and hotels. Production value or sales is equal to total expenditures.

ERS provides estimates of food eaten away from home and food eaten at home, as well as the share of the two food spending categories relative to two income series—disposable personal income and disposable personal money income. Food-away-from-home spending is mainly for food purchased at eating and drinking places, but it is also for food purchased at such outlets as hotels and motels, recreational places, vending machines, and schools and colleges. ERS estimates of food at home and food away from home may not equal estimates with similar labels by other series.


Data Set Last Updated Next Update
Expenditures on food and alcoholic beverages that were consumed at home by selected countries
Percent of consumer expenditures spent on food, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco that were consumed at home, by selected countries, 2014 8/17/2016
Percent of consumer expenditures spent on food, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco that were consumed at home, by selected countries, 2013 8/17/2016
Percent of consumer expenditures spent on food, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco that were consumed at home, by selected countries, 2012 8/17/2016
Percent of consumer expenditures spent on food, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco that were consumed at home, by selected countries, 2011 8/17/2016
Percent of consumer expenditures spent on food, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco that were consumed at home, by selected countries, 2015 8/17/2016
Food Expenditures
Table 1—Food and alcoholic beverages: Total expenditures 1/26/2016
Table 2—Food at home: Total expenditures 1/26/2016
Table 3—Food away from home: Total expenditures 1/26/2016
Table 4—Alcoholic beverages: Total expenditures 1/26/2016
Table 5—Food expenditures by source of funds 1/26/2016
Table 6—Share of food expenditures by source of funds 1/26/2016
Table 7—Food expenditures by families and individuals as a share of disposable personal income 1/26/2016
Table 8—Food expenditures by families and individuals as a share of disposable personal money income 1/26/2016
Table 9—Expenditures for food at retail store prices, including home-produced food, excluding sales taxes and tips, at current prices and 1988 retail store prices 1/26/2016
Table 10—Food away from home as a share of food expenditures 1/26/2016
Table 11—Relative prices of food at three stages of the system 1/26/2016
Table 12—Food expenditures at constant prices 1/26/2016
Table 13—Per capita food expenditures 1/26/2016
Table 14—Sales of food at home by type of outlet (including sales tax) 1/26/2016
Table 15—Sales of meals and snacks away from home by type of outlet 1/26/2016
Food Sales
Monthly retail sales for food at home and food away from home (formerly Table 36) 11/21/2016 12/21/2016
Historical food sales 11/28/2016 12/22/2016