Thursday, November 12, 2015

Seismic Shift in Spending on Groceries

There has been "a seismic shift in how people eat," according to a New York Times headline. Per capita consumption of soda, orange juice, and cereal are all down as Americans more fresh food and less sugar, reports the Times. Consumer Expenditure Survey data confirm the Times story. Here are the trends in average household spending for selected groceries between 2006 (the year overall household spending peaked) and 2014....

Percent change in average household spending, 2006 to 2014 (in 2014 dollars)
23% decline in spending on ice cream
23% decline in spending on fresh fruit juice
22% decline in spending on cakes and cupcakes
16% decline in spending on carbonated drinks
16% decline in spending on canned and bottled fruit juice
10% decline in spending on cookies
9% decline in spending on cereal
5% decline in spending on candy and chewing gum

In contrast to these declines, the average household spent more on: bacon (31%), yogurt (31%), nuts (23%), fresh fruit (19%), and fresh vegetables (6%). Clearly, the New York Times is on to something.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Surveys

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