food buffetTotal food-away-from-home expenditures in 2011 were $641 billion. Foodservice is categorized as commercial and noncommercial. Commercial foodservice includes fast food and full-service restaurants. According to the Economic Research Service, commercial foodservice accounted for about 77 percent of the food-away-from-home expenditures.

Noncommercial outlets prepare and serve meals as a support service to institutions and educational settings including schools, hospitals, nursing homes and child care centers. This segment accounted for about 23 percent of all food-away-from-home expenditures. All foodservice outlets compete with other food retail outlets including supermarkets and convenience stores to sell ready-to-eat products to consumers.

Food Service, Food Marketing System in the U.S., Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA.

Food CPI and Expenditures, ERS, USDA.


Commercial – Restaurants

Noncommercial – School Foodservice, Hotels, Institutions

Foodservice/Retail Trends

  • Links to Other Sites
    • Institute for Grocery Distribution - This organization provides research and information for the food industry in the United Kingdom and international. It offers publications and research reports and retail and consumer trends for a fee.
    • Progressive Grocer - This publication covers the food retailing industry. It reports daily news on the homepage.

Links checked November 2012.