This chart about spending in restaurants is unbelievable ... because it has a major problem

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.

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