Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


What America Spends On Groceries

See related posts from this series, including What America Buys and What America Does For Work.

We spend less of our money on groceries than we did 30 years ago.

The way we spend our grocery money has also changed.


We now spend a much bigger share of our grocery money on processed foods, which includes things like frozen dinners, canned soups and snacks. We spend much less on meat, largely because meat is much cheaper than it was 30 years ago.

"We've seen major restructuring in poultry, pork and beef industries that has allowed efficiencies and brought down the cost," Walter Falcon, a Stanford economist who's an expert on food, told me.

Here's one more chart for you if you want to compare prices then and now:

See all of the posts in our Graphing America Series.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit