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USDA: Americans are spending more on food than they have in 30 years

(Photo aired on WISH-TV)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Americans are spending more of their income on food than they have in 30 years.

That’s according to the latest data from the Department of Agriculture, which shows that U.S. consumers spent more than 11% of their disposable income on eating in 2022.

“This is really a metric that’s about the share of our disposable personal income, which the USDA tracks, and which recently was at essentially a 31-year high,” Jesse Newman, food reporter for the Wall Street Journal, told CBS News. 

CBS News reports the 11% of their disposable income is the highest percentage since 1991.

“Consumers are telling us that they’re starting to do things like forgo treats when they go out to eat. So, they’ll share a meal, or they won’t buy booze, or they won’t buy dessert. So, it’s an uphill battle,” Newman told CBS.

Newman also pointed to labor costs as a key factor driving up prices. “For restaurants in particular, they’re dealing with minimum wage increases across the country. That’s a huge part of their costs, and it’s true for food manufacturers as well.”