Consumer Spending on Food Dropped 10 Percent in 2020

Grocery

During COVID-19 and the economic recession of 2020, the share of consumers’ disposable personal income spent on food dropped 10.1 percent from the previous year to 8.62 percent. The USDA says that’s the lowest share in the past 60 years. Disposable Personal Income is the amount of money that consumers have left to spend or save after paying taxes. The share of consumer DPI spend on food in the U.S. stayed  steady for two decades. It dropped from 9.95 percent in 2000 to 9.58 percent in 2019. Consumers spent 1.4 percent more of their incomes on food bought for home consumption from 2019 to 2020. During the same period, they spent 22.2 percent less of their incomes outside of the home. Changes in percent of income spent on food in 2020 came about because of COVID-19-related closures and restrictions on food-away-from-home establishments, and the biggest increase in DPI in 20 years, thanks in part to stimulus payments and unemployment insurance.