Between 2016 and 2017, total expenditures on food increased nearly $526 for the 130,001 consumers tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to analysis from the Food Institute in its latest Demographics of Consumer Food Spending report. Spending for food at-home and food away-from-home jumped $314 and $211, respectively, in 2017. Decreases were reported across all age brackets for both at-home and away-from-home spending, with the 35-44 bracket decreasing its at-home food spend by $402.
Generation Z, or those under 25, spent a relatively equal amount on food at-home vs. away-from-home, while that gap widened in older generations. Millennials and Generation X spent about 54-55% of their food budgets on food at-home, compared to about 59% for Baby Boomers.
Married couples with an oldest child between 6 and 17 spent the most on food away-from-home in 2017, at 44.8% of annual food expenditures, followed by couples only at 44.5%. Meanwhile, those with a higher level of education tended to spend more on food when compared to those with a lower level of education.
Men spent more on food than women in all age brackets, save one: women between the age of 55 and 64. This group spent $4,253 on food in 2017, while the corresponding male bracket spent $4,090. Men between the ages of 35 and 44 spent the most for their gender, while the highest-spending female bracket was between the ages of 25 and 34.
The Food Institute's Demographics report has been completely revamped for 2019, providing consumer spending data and analysis in a clearer and more concise format. The report examines consumer spending patterns on food, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditures Survey. It provides an easy-to-read breakdown of spending on food overall, food at-home (in 24 categories & sub-categories), and food away-from-home. Demographics covered include age, income, career, education, race, gender and region of the US.

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