15 States Where Residents Are Spending the Most on Food

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Unhappy woman at the grocery store
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Self.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath reshaped many aspects of life in the U.S., and how Americans eat and drink is no exception.

Disruptions in the initial months of the pandemic forced food producers and distributors to adapt how food gets to consumers, and ongoing challenges with supply chains and the labor market have led to shortages at grocery stores. In the restaurant business, many restaurants have reoriented their businesses toward takeout and delivery, with the market for food delivery in the U.S. more than doubling during the pandemic.

The latter trend came in response to major disruption to the food service industry from lockdowns and public health measures early in the pandemic.

Bars and restaurants were among the businesses hit hardest by these policies. Unable to host patrons at full capacity, establishments drastically reduced their staffing and turned to takeout and delivery to continue operating while keeping costs low.

Inflation in the cost of food is still being felt nationwide, but residents in some locations will feel the effects more than others. In states where incomes are lower, especially in the South, residents spend a higher share of their overall household spending on food. Whether buying groceries or dining out, residents in these locations already struggle the most with food costs and will disproportionately feel the effects of inflation.

15. Texas

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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 12.8%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.0%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.8%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,206
  • Total spending per resident: $40,665

14. Alabama

Montgomery Alabama
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 12.8%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.6%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.2%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $4,611
  • Total spending per resident: $36,066

13. Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 12.8%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 8.5%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 4.3%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,731
  • Total spending per resident: $44,665

12. Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island houses homes
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.0%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.1%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.9%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,569
  • Total spending per resident: $42,917

11. North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina from above
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.0%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.7%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.3%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,068
  • Total spending per resident: $39,086

10. Oregon

Medford, Oregon
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.0%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.8%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.1%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,542
  • Total spending per resident: $42,711

9. New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.0%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.8%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.2%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $4,603
  • Total spending per resident: $35,420

8. Maine

Coast of Portland, Maine
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.0%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 8.3%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 4.7%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,906
  • Total spending per resident: $45,587

7. Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.1%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.5%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.6%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $4,859
  • Total spending per resident: $37,199

6. Kansas

Tulsa Oklahoma
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.1%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 8.3%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 4.8%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,076
  • Total spending per resident: $38,860

5. Idaho

Idaho
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.2%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 8.0%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.3%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $4,892
  • Total spending per resident: $36,925

4. Georgia

Augusta, Georgia
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.3%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.8%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.5%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,174
  • Total spending per resident: $38,867

3. South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.6%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 7.9%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.6%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,230
  • Total spending per resident: $38,487

2. Kentucky

Cincinnati
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 13.7%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 8.6%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.0%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $5,010
  • Total spending per resident: $36,699

1. Mississippi

Baton Rouge Louisiana
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  • All food and beverage spending as a share of total spending: 14.3%
  • Grocery spending as a share of total spending: 8.8%
  • Purchased meals and beverages spending as a share of total spending: 5.5%
  • Food and beverage spending per resident: $4,612
  • Total spending per resident: $32,194

Methodology

Woman shocked by grocery costs
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The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Consumer Spending 2020 report. To determine the states where residents are spending the most on food, researchers on behalf of Self Financial calculated all food and beverage spending as a share of total spending. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater grocery spending as a share of total spending was ranked higher. For the purposes of this study, grocery spending is defined as “food and non-alcoholic beverages purchased for off-premises consumption” from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Percentage calculations in this analysis may not add up due to rounding.