Administrative Publication No. (AP-110) 47 pp

December 2022

COVID-19 Working Paper: Consumer Food Spending Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected the way U.S. consumers purchased food. As U.S. households shifted away from full-service restaurant meals, they purchased more food and beverages at grocery stores and other food-at-home (FAH) establishments. Increased FAH spending was driven by higher spending on protein foods, fruits, vegetables, and other FAH (e.g., desserts, prepared meals and salads). However, these increases were uneven across food categories and subpopulations. This report uses the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Diary Survey to examine food purchasing behaviors before (2016–19) and during the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020).

Keywords: Consumer Expenditure (CE) Diary Survey, food at home, food away from home, fruits, vegetables, COVID-19 pandemic

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