Six years ago, for the first time, Americans spent more on food in restaurants than at home. The pandemic and the rise of working from home changed all of that.
The Seattle Times this week reports that the median amount spent by households on groceries per week in the Seattle area increased 25% from February to August of 2020 compared to the same time the year before the pandemic. The median, or halfway point, means that half of Seattle households spent more on groceries, and half spent less. Meanwhile, government safety protocols left restaurants in Washington State closed for months.
The newspaper attributed the Seattle increases to more home cooking and panic buying.
The Nielsen market research data also show that Seattle’s 25% spending increase exceeded the 15% increase nationwide. The paper speculated that the Seattle area was among the highest metros for the population of the labor force that has shifted to working from home.