Over the span of 2000-2016, the amount of money spent on food by the average American household increased from $5,158 to $7,203, which is a 39.6% increase in spending.
Despite this, for most of the U.S. population, food actually makes up a decreasing portion of their household spending mix because of rising incomes over time. Just 13.1% of income was spent on food by the average household in 2016, making it a less important cost than both housing and transportation.
That said, fluctuations in food prices can still make a major impact on the population. For lower income households, food makes up a much higher percentage of incomes at 32.6% – and how individual foods change in price can make a big difference at the dinner table.
Fluctuating Grocery Prices
Today’s infographic comes from TitleMax, and it uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to show the prices for 30 common grocery staples over the last decade.
We’ve summarized the statistics in the following table to show the grocery prices in 2007 and 2017, as well as the total percentage change.
Only prices of three items fell: chicken breasts (-6.4%), whole milk (-7.4%), and eggs (-14.9%).
However, the average price increase for all items was 22%, buoyed especially by meats like bacon (58.2%), ground beef (44.6%), top round steak (40.6%), frozen turkey (38.3%) and sirloin steak (35.2%).
The Future of Food
As we’ve previously noted, technology is being applied to agriculture and food in really interesting ways – and the future of food could be very different than what we see today.
How will the grocery prices of everyday staples be affected by growth in automated vertical farms, aquaponics, in vitro meats, and artificial animal products?
With shifting consumer preferences towards more local and sustainable products, it will be interesting to revisit this data in the coming years.
Article by Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist