What America Spends On Groceries

In a series on NPR online called, “Graphing America”, I found an article with some interesting graphs on how much less America spends on groceries today versus 30 years ago. This third-party research is pertinent to pair with our farmers and ranchers stories of how they raise food to complete the whole story of food production.

Income spent on groceries

The way we spend our grocery money has also changed.

We now spend a much bigger share of our grocery money on processed foods, which includes things like frozen dinners, canned soups and snacks. We spend much less on meat, largely because meat is much cheaper than it was 30 years ago.

Breakdown of Grocery Spending

According to Walter Falcon, a Stanford economist who’s an expert on food, "We’ve seen major restructuring in poultry, pork and beef industries that has allowed efficiencies and brought down the cost."

Change in Prices

Some people may argue that “healthier foods” like fruits and vegetables are more expensive than processed foods, thus we have a society that is struggling with obesity. However from the chart below to compare food prices then and now, you can see that many fruits and veggies have decreased in price as well. 

Price List in 2012 Dollars

2 thoughts on “What America Spends On Groceries

  1. Thanks, Crystal…it is interesting stuff and it is amazing how the processed food world has evolved. But if we didn't have it, we wouldn't be able to feed as many people and get fresh food supplied to different areas of the country. We just need to make sure they are getting healthy, processed food! 🙂

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