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Food-at-home Spending Varies by Race and Ethnicity

U.S. households shifted away from buying foods at restaurants and other food service venues to food-at-home outlets such as grocery stores and other retail establishments in 2020.

The largest shifts came from a category designated by USDA’s Economic Research Service as “all other FAH,” which includes prepared meals and salads, desserts, and foods not elsewhere classified such as soups, savory snacks, candy, sweeteners, margarine, and butter. “All other FAH” was by far the largest category before 2020, and its share of the household food budget increased by 2.6 percentage points in 2020 compared with the period from 2016 to 2019. However, this increase was unevenly distributed across racial and ethnic populations and subcategories.

All U.S. racial and ethnic subpopulations except Hispanic households increased their total food budget share for “all other FAH” during this period. Black households increased their budget shares for “all other FAH” the most, followed by Asian households.

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