The recession is finally behind the foodservice industry. Consumer spending on food away from home rose 2.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, while at-home food spending declined by 0.2%. The increase in away-from-home spending brought foodservice (food-away-from-home) spending back to where it was before the recession.
According to the just-released Consumer Expenditure Midyear Update from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the 12 months ended July 2013, the average American household spent $2,698 on food-away-from-home, up 2.7% from the same period ended July 2012.
Significantly, that exactly matches the $2,698 spent on food away from during full-year 2008, when food-away spending peaked before the recession hit it. Food-away spending declined in 2009 and 2010 before beginning to inch back up in 2011 and 2012 (see chart).
Food-at-home or supermarket spending dipped in 2010 but had been rising until the decline in the most recent BLS data.
Foodservice spending accounted for 5.2% of the average American household’s average expenditures. Supermarket (food-at-home) spending was 7.6% of total expenditures.
The average household income before taxes declined 0.2% to $65,029. Total average expenditures rose 1.5% to $51,408. The largest increase in expenditures was a 6.6% jump in cash contributions, which BLS defines as including payments for support of college students; alimony; child support; and charitable giving.