Sales Top $50 Billion In May

Articles
June 24, 2010

Sales Top $50 Billion In May

For the first time since December of last year, food and beverage store sales topped $50 billion in May, reaching $50.7 billion, according to U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by The Food Institute.

For the first time since December of last year, food and beverage store sales topped $50 billion in May, reaching $50.7 billion, according to U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by The Food Institute. That was still only 1.7% above the same month last year however although it was 6.2% more than April. This figure includes all food stores, including supermarkets, convenience stores, meat and poultry stores, even bakeries.

Grocery stores, 95% of which are supermarkets, saw sales rise 1.9% from the same month a year ago and were up a healthy 6.3% from the prior month. 

At the same time eating and drinking place sales increased just 1.7% from a year earlier during May on the heels of a more than healthy 4.4% increase a month earlier. The Food Institute estimates that growth at full-service restaurants outpaced that at fast food outlets during the month, by 2.7% compared to 0.5%, the growth was less than half of the revised 6.8% gain seen a month earlier when full service restaurant sales  were $17.5 billion.

It appears that from time to time consumers decide to splurge a bit, and dine at full service restaurants where sales rose nearly 7%, while the limited service or fast-food counterparts rose only about 3.1%. A look at the sales numbers from month to month shows that consumers remain extremely uncertain, as there is no consistent pattern to the changes at either retail food stores or eating and drinking places.

During months when it appears the economy is on an upswing, the Food Institute says that shoppers will spend more on their food purchases and from time to time may even splurge a little as they did in April.

Americans have to eat and are on course to spend even more this year at restaurants and food stores than the $1.04 trillion they spent a year ago.

The Food Institute monitors economic trends and benchmarks in the food industry and reports on those changes in The Food Institute Report. For more, go to www.foodinstitute.com.