The past few years have changed a lot for most Americans.  When the COVID-19 pandemic happened, we quarantined and stopped eating out at restaurants as much.  And even with the worst mostly over with, the way we eat and drink has potentially changed forever. A recent study from Self, Inc. shows which states are spending big on food.

First- Supply Chain Issues

During the pandemic, the entire world had to learn new ways to address and adapt our new habits.  Which also affected the supply chain and the workforce.  Many restaurants adapted by switching to delivery and takeout solely.  The staff at restaurants and bars were cut dramatically.  And even once things started to recover, employment at food establishments is still struggling to make a come back.

Then – Meals At Home

Whether they were used to cooking at home or not, many people opted to start spending more of their money on groceries for meals at home. Self, Inc. discovered this reversed a trend in food spending, with household spending on groceries reaching the highest number in 2 decades.  As a result, spending at restaurants for meals and drinks fell to its lowest since the Great Recession.

And Now – Inflation

In the last year, the United States has seen prices rising drastically. Inflation is the highest it’s been, and originally, prices for food consumed at home grew slower than food consumed outside of the home.  But now, the opposite is true, and has been since the pandemic began.

While we did choose to buy groceries and eat at home more, the rising food costs have challenged our budgets.  And like anything else, even though everyone has felt inflation’s effect, some places are impacted more than others. States with lower incomes are the ones who seem to feel the effect most.

Research- Which States Are Spending Big on Food?

Self Financial gathered the data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to determine food and beverage spending as it relates to total spending by households.

Where did Georgia and South Carolina fall?  Georgia came in at number 4 of the top 15 states spending the most.  And South Carolina was slightly worse, coming in at number 3.

Here are the top 10 states spending big on food:

  • 10. Oregon

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.0%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 7.8%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 5.1%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $5,542
    • Total spending per resident: $42,711
  • 9. New Mexico

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.0%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 7.8%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 5.2%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $4,603
    • Total spending per resident: $35,420
  • 8. Maine

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.0%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 8.3%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 4.7%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $5,906
    • Total spending per resident: $45,587
  • 7. Louisiana

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.1%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 7.5%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 5.6%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $4,859
    • Total spending per resident: $37,199
  • 6. Kansas

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.1%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 8.3%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 4.8%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $5,076
    • Total spending per resident: $38,860
  • 5. Idaho

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.2%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 8.0%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 5.3%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $4,892
    • Total spending per resident: $36,925
  • 4. Georgia

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.3%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 7.8%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 5.5%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $5,174
    • Total spending per resident: $38,867
  • 3. South Carolina

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.6%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 7.9%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 5.6%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $5,230
    • Total spending per resident: $38,487
  • 2. Kentucky

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 13.7%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 8.6%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 5.0%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $5,010
    • Total spending per resident: $36,699
  • 1. Mississippi

    • Percentage of total spending on all food and beverage: 14.3%
    • Grocery spending percentage of total spending: 8.8%
    • Purchased meals/beverages: 5.5%
    • Food/beverage spending per resident: $4,612
    • Total spending per resident: $32,194