Lower-income households are shifting dining habits, likely due to food inflation and a need to reduce food spend, and reducing restaurant visit activity.
That’s a prime research finding from The NPD Group. Lower-income diners are eating more frozen and shelf-stable foods and using less expensive and private label brands, according to a press release.
Lower-income households, under $75,000, eat 89% of meals and snacks at home. Forty-percent of adults in those households reported the cost of more healthful foods and beverages is a barrier to eating healthier. In the quarter ending June this year, restaurant visit declines were most pronounced in income groups under $75,000, according to the research.
Under $45,000 households with kids cut back five visits per person in the quarter, driving the overall 2% decline in total restaurant visits in the quarter versus a year ago. Over one in four families with incomes in that range reported not visiting a restaurant due to budget, substantially above other groups. Restaurant purchase frequency of these households declined by 6% in the quarter ending June compared to a year ago.
“High food prices affect all consumers, particularly lower-income households,” David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of “Eating Patterns in America,” said in the release. “Our research shows that households with incomes under $75,000 represent 46% of the U.S. population. These households are a critical demographic for food manufacturers, grocers and foodservice operators to understand how they manage their food spending today.”