Byrne, Patrick Joseph (1994-05). Expenditure patterns of U.S. households for food consumed away from home. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Most previous studies have treated food away from home (FA) as an aggregate commodity. This study provides disaggregate FA analysis that should be useful for commodity producer groups, specific FA industry segments, and food industry input suppliers. Disaggregate analyses were conducted for meal occasions, food facility types, and meat commodities. The National Panel Diary (NPD) data for the years 1982 to 1989 was used for the analysis, obtained from the USDA. This data set involves approximately 12,800 households that provide a two-week diary of FA visits for each quarter of the year. The NPD survey provides information on: 1) day of week of purchase; 2) meal occasion; 3) types of food and/or beverages consumed; 4) type food service establishment; 5) cost of FA visit; and 6) size and com position of party. A three-step systems approach was developed to estimate expenditures in the away-from-home market at the disaggregate level. With this approach, there are two sequential participation decisions followed by a purchase (expenditure) decision. The first participation decision estimates whether or not a household purchases food away from home. The second decision estimates disaggregate participation, utilizing information gleaned from the first step. That is, conditional on purchases of food away from home, what kind of facility was used, which meal occasion, or which meat type. The third decision estimates a system of disaggregate expenditures, utilizing information obtained from the participation steps. An additional analysis, FA consumption by food facility and meat commodity, was conducted using a four-step approach, which involves an additional participation decision. The three- and four-step approaches demonstrated the importance of proper characterization of participation decisions for censored response analysis. Empirical results indicated that FA consumption is a necessity for U.S. households, at both the aggregate and disaggregate levels. Larger households became more active participants in the FA segment. Household time constraints were reflected by the importance of the household manager's participation in the work-force. This study provides information that had previously been unavailable to the public and parts of the private sector.

publication date

  • December 1994
  • May 1994
  • July 1994