Restaurant Sales Surpass Groceries for First Time

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Apr 15, 2015

Government data from March indicates food & drink sales at restaurants surpassed those at traditional grocery stores for the first time. As you might imagine, there is a number of forces at work behind the numbers.

The U.S. Commerce Dept's "Estimated monthly sales for retail and food services" report, just released April 14, figured food & beverage sales in traditional "food & beverage stores" during March were $50.089 billion, down slightly from January and February. Sales in "food services & drinking places" were $50.384 billion, and have been going up on a monthly basis for a while.

A couple of caveats: "Food & beverage stores" do not include beer, wine and liquor stores, which add about $4 billion a month in food sales, nor do they include food sold at mass marketers such as Walmart, Costco and dollar stores – those formats have been increasing their food & beverage sales.

But the Commerce data does confirm and quantify long-running trends of food purchasing away from traditional groceries to alternate formats and restaurants, with millennials playing an increasing role in those shifts.

The full table is at http://www.census.gov/retail/marts/www/marts_current.pdf.

Show Comments
Hide Comments

Join the discussion

We welcome your thoughtful comments.
All comments will display your user name.

Want to participate in the discussion?

Register for free

Log in for complete access.

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments