Per capita food-at-home spending differs widely across
countries. For example, in 2011 food-at-home spending was
$2,239 per person in the United States, $452 in lower middle-income
Cameroon, and just $276 in low-income Kenya. However, higher food
spending does not always translate into higher food consumption.
South African consumers, for example, spent more per person on
at-home foods than Chinese consumers, but per person calories
available for consumption were about the same in both countries.
Japanese consumers outspent U.S. consumers on at-home foods, but
per person calorie availability in Japan was lower. At-home food
spending reflects general food price levels, prices for the
particular foods purchased (grains versus meats), and, for higher
income countries, the mix of at-home and away-from-home eating.
While the average consumer in the United States spends more than 8
times as much on food at home as the average person in Kenya, per
capita calorie availability is less than 80 percent higher. All
eight countries had per capita calorie availability over 2,000 per
day, but averages can mask large differences in food spending,
access, and consumption within a country. This chart is based on
data from the ERS Food Expenditures data
product, updated October 2012.