Americans like to eat out. A lot.
In fact, according to chart shared by Stifel’s Taylor G. LaBarr, the portion of total food spending outside the home is now nearly half of Americans’ total food spending.
Notably, “spending on food not at home,” as LaBarr calls it, has been rising consistently for decades.
The only slight blips on the chart happened during recessions in 1974, 2001, and 2008, which makes sense as it’s generally more expensive to eat out and people are less likely to spend extra cash in tougher economic environments.
As for why this shift towards “food not at home” is happening, here’s what the Stifel analysts think:
“The trend is caused by a variety of long-term demographic and psychographic reasons, but many of them boil down to convenience. Eating out is simply easier and increasingly attractive as we lead busier lives. The trend results in less familiarity with home cooking among millennials, and also explains why lunch is the most likely meal to be eaten outside the home (followed by dinner).”
Although, of course, their could be other reasons, too, such as people having more disposable income and more options for eating out.
In any case, here’s the chart:
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