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Heard on the Street Blog

The Rise Of Dining Out

We have food at home

In the unlikely event that you're a teenager reading this and trying to convince your parents to eat out this weekend, we have some statistical backup for you to deploy. In the last 12 months grocery store prices have jumped 13.1% in the US, while the cost of eating away from home has *only* gone up 7.6% over the same period.

These figures are particularly interesting when set against the backdrop of a mega-trend from the last few decades. Expenditure data from the USDA shows that, as recently as 1997, some 53% of food expenditure in the US was on food eaten and prepared at home. But at some point in the mid-noughties that switched, and as of last year food at home accounted for just 45% of total spend, while the majority was splashed on dining out.

COVID closures briefly reversed this trend, but with the inflationary gap between eating in vs. out at its widest since the 1970s, people may be tempted to turn away from home-made meals in favor of letting someone else do the cheffing a little more often.

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