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Amber Waves

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In the Long Run: Food Spending Dipped During Recession

U.S. expenditures on food at home and away from home grew over the past 50 years, but food-away-from-home expenditures increased more rapidly. During the recent recession, however, inflation-adjusted spending on both food at home and away from home fell. After adjusting for price changes using the Consumer Price Index for Food, food-away-from-home spending decreased an average of 2 percent annually between 2007 and 2009, while food-at-home spending declined 1 percent. Inflation-adjusted food spending did not react similarly during the recessions in the early 1970s and 1980s. In both recessions, food-at-home spending was flat, while food-away-from-home spending increased.

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