Americans Spend Less On Groceries


Lam Thuy Vo, writing for NPR, noted that Americans spend less money on groceries today than they spent 30 years ago. In 1982, citizens spent more than 12% of their money on groceries, compared to less than 9% today.  Why the decrease in spending?  Walter Falcon, a Stanford economist, attributes the trend to a “major restructuring in poultry, pork, and beef industries that has allowed efficiencies and brought down the cost.”  

Most notably, the cost of pork chops, chicken legs, butter, lettuce, and steak – adjusted for inflation – all fell by more than 30%.  For instance in 1982, a pound of pork chops (in 2012 dollars) cost Americans $6.00, but today, the price is only $3.72 per pound.  At the grocery store Americans also spend their money in a similar fashion, with two exceptions.  As to be expected, the share of money going towards meat goods fell from 31.3% in 1982 to 21.5% today, and while citizens spent 11.6% of their funds on processed foods and sweets in 1982, today that percentage has almost doubled to 22.9%. 
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