In this analysis we look at the average annual spending nationally by consumers on food away from home when broken down by the 4 different regions of the country – North East, Midwest, South and West. What we find when looking at these numbers over a decade is that the Northeast and the West have been regions in the country where the most was spent annually on average in absolute dollar terms – thus in 1999 in the North East, folks spent on average $2,396 annually on food away from home and in the West that number was $2,216. Likewise in 2009 in the North East folks spent $2,932 and in the West they spent $2,880 on average annually.
The region of the country that sticks out in this analysis is the Midwest. In 1999 the average consumer in the Midwest spent $2,126 annually on food away from home, only a few dollars less than that spent by the average consumer in the West. However in 2009, that number only rose to $2,349 where as the corresponding amount spent by consumer in the West as mentioned earlier rose to $2,880.
This fact is also borne out when we look at the percent change in spending over the decade – while the North East, South and West all increased in healthy amounts, the Midwest lagged amount with only a 10.5% increase in spending over the decade compared with 22.4% for the North East and 30% for the West. It is safe to say that the Midwest has lagged behind economically given the loss of manufacturing jobs and this has resulted in a loss of disposble income for consumers in that region.
This would certainly have implications for a small business like A Taste for Tuscany if we were located in say Detroit – but given that we are located in the New York metropolitan area, we don't have to worry about this national trend for now.
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