The Food Institute Blog

The Food Institute Blog

Americans May Be Foodies, but their Spending is Down
Posted on November 16, 2015 by Chris Campbell

Food enthusiasts (commonly known as "foodies") are becoming more and more prevalent in today's American culture. The rise of cooking TV channels, social media recipe swap groups and myriad publications on specialty and otherwise-unknown foods is bring a wider selection of produce, meats and food styles into American homes. This fascination with new types of food also apparently translates into their foodservice choices.

New research from Mintel notes that nearly half of Americans who visit restaurants consider themselves to be foodies, with 47% responding in the affirmative. When the focus group was changed to encompass only Americans between the age of 25 and 35, a resounding 68% noted that they were foodies.

The Mintel research also found that some 86% of foodies are interested in learning more about international food, and nearly half of all foodies would like to see more international options on more traditional menus. The options they'd most like to see more of include tortas (49%), schwarma (48%), kimchi (35%) and matcha (30%).

Now, this is all well and good, but with increased and more diversified menu offerings comes higher price points throughout the supply chain. And this is where Americans' wants are not being backed up by their wallets.

Eating and drinking place sales totaled $52.3 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in October, which represented a solid 0.5% increase over September's numbers, but according to the National Restaurant Association, nearly 7 in 10 consumers are still holding back on spending.

The bright spot? Younger consumers (the very ones most interested in expanded food offerings) are the most bullish, with just two in ten consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 noting they are holding back significantly on spending.


About the Author

Chris Campbell
Business Writer
The Food Institute

Chris focuses on fresh, canned and frozen fruit and fresh and dried vegetables for the Food Institute Report. In addition, he assists in compiling data for various Food Institute publications throughout the year. He is a proud Rutgers University alumnus with a degree in English, and has a background in web writing for a variety of industries, including legal, foodservice and small-to-medium sized businesses. In his downtime you can find him watching New York Yankees baseball, hiking, enjoying live music and spending time with his dog Kaiden. He invites you to contact him via email at to talk about anything food-related.


You must be a registered member before commenting. Login or join.

There are no comments, yet. Why don't you add one?