Economic Research Report No. (ERR-301) 29 pp

November 2021

Understanding the Components of U.S. Food Expenditures During Recessionary and Non-Recessionary Periods

ERS analysis shows that during the COVID-19 Recession, while total food expenditures fell, food spending at places like grocery stores and supercenters increased. This increase in food-at-home spending was mostly driven by a shift away from food spending at places like restaurants and fast-food places.

Errata: On November 16, 2021, Figure 9 was revised to correctly depict the contributions of the Propensity to spend on food versus non-food and the Food-at-home share components. No text or other figures were impacted.

Keywords: Food Expenditure Series, FES, food at home, food away from home, FAH, FAFH, Personal Consumption Expenditures, PCE, Disposable Personal Income, DPI, food spending, recession, COVID-19

In this publication...