This is an amazing chart.
The chart shows that total spending at restaurants and bars — “food and drinking places” — topped spending at grocery stores in March.
This is a huge deal.
But it doesn’t quite show what you think.
That’s because major grocery retailers like Wal-Mart, Costco, and Target aren’t considered grocery stores, as Jonathan Maze at the Nation’s Restaurant News notes.
Maze also points out that more than half of Wal-Mart’s $US485 billion in annual sales come from grocery, and says a grocery number from Wal-Mart alone would probably but it over the top.
And even so, sales at restaurants and bars just barely clipped grocery spending in March, totaling $US52,349,000,000 against $US49,688,000,000 for grocery stores.
This doesn’t however, mean that this trend isn’t a huge deal: the habits of American consumers are obviously changing. And in a big way.