Grocery spending in California accounts for eight percent of income

The current run of inflation in the US economy is putting pressure on household finances nationwide. The second half of 2021 saw several consecutive months of higher than usual price increases, reaching an overall inflation rate of 6.8% from November 2020 to November 2021. Wages have also increased in recent months, but not at a fast enough pace to keep up with inflation. , which squeezes family budgets in key spending categories like housing, energy, transportation and food.

Grocery is one of the areas where inflation has weighed on household spending this year. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food from home cost 6.4% more in 2021 than in 2020, the largest year-over-year increase since the Great Recession. Prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs alone rose 12.8% over this period.

Grocery spending varies from place to place. Different regions may have higher costs for food supply and distribution, real estate, or labor that grocers pass on to consumers. In dollars per capita, residents of New England, which is not a big agricultural producer and has high costs, lead all regions in grocery spending at $4,061. But as a percentage of total consumer spending, the Southeast (8.7%), Rockies (8.6%) and Southwest (8.3%) have the highest levels of grocery spending. , which partly reflects lower incomes in these regions. As a result, many of the states where residents spend the most on groceries are in these regions.

The data used in this analysis comes from the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis. To determine the states where residents spend the most on groceries, Filterbuy researchers calculated annual grocery spending as a percentage of total US household spending. In the event of a tie, the state with the highest annual per capita food expenditure was ranked higher.

The analysis found annual per capita grocery spending in California is $3,630, compared to a national average of $3,480. California residents spend 7.8% of all household spending on groceries. Of all US states, California residents are the 14th cheapest on groceries.

Here is a summary of the data for California:

Food expenditure as a percentage of total: 7.8%

Annual food expenditure per capita: $3,630

Total annual expenditure per capita: $46,636

Percentage change in grocery spending (2019-20): +11.8%

Statistics for the whole of the United States:

Food expenditure as a percentage of total: 8.2%

Annual food expenditure per capita: $3,480

Total annual expenditure per capita: $42,635

Percentage change in grocery spending (2019-20): +11.2%

Ongoing supply chain challenges are a key driver of recent price increases. Many suppliers and distributors have faced labor shortages and rising transportation costs, which have made it more difficult to get food products to grocery store shelves. The inconsistent supply has resulted in higher costs for stores and ultimately consumers, and as current conditions persist into 2022, scarcity of certain products could continue to push prices up.

Inflation in the cost of groceries has been particularly hard on U.S. households, as consumers have also purchased more groceries overall during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more establishments closed or operating at limited capacity due to the pandemic, consumers were more likely to eat at home. As a result, grocery spending increased by 11.2% in 2020, while food services and accommodation saw a decline of 20.5%. Because food is a necessity, households could not avoid this increase in spending, unlike other categories such as transport services and energy which saw sharp price increases during the pandemic but also significant declines in consumer spending.

For more information, detailed methodology and full results, you can find the original report on the Filterbuy website: