Administrative Publication No. (AP-100) 28 pp

March 2022

COVID-19 Working Paper: The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Food-Away-From-Home Spending

This paper summarizes national changes in the frequency and dollar amount of U.S. consumers’ food-away-from-home (FAFH) purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis draws on frequently updated proprietary data sources to measure national FAFH trends in average monthly spending and the weekly number of store transactions. Both spending and transactions at restaurants fell substantially following the onset of the pandemic and remained below pre-pandemic levels more than 1 year later. Differences in the decline in spending and transactions across restaurant types and mealtimes are notable. Although restaurant restrictions loosened across the country in the first half of 2021, visits and spending have been slow to recover to their pre-pandemic levels.

Keywords: COVID-19, food away from home, FAFH, spending, restaurants, NPD

In this publication...