Cohort Effects of Household Expenditures on Food Away from Home


  • The authors wish to thank Robert N. Mayor, Rebecca Utz, and Randy D. Davis for their insightful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this manuscript.


Data from 23 years of the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey (1982–2004) are analyzed to investigate cohort effects on food away-from-home (FAFH) expenditures using the age, period, and cohort (APC) model. Nine 10-year interval cohorts are included, from the Interbellum Generation born between 1896 and 1905 to the MTV Generation born between 1976 and 1985. Analyses reveal that later-born cohorts spend more on FAFH, both in dollar amount and in food budget share, compared with earlier-born cohorts. Significant cohort differences in FAFH remain after additional sociodemographic and economic variables are controlled.