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HomeEconomyData Shows Indians Spend More on Processed Food, Less on Home-Cooked Meals

Data Shows Indians Spend More on Processed Food, Less on Home-Cooked Meals

The household consumption expenditure survey for 2022-23 highlights significant changes in food consumption patterns in India over the past two decades. Indians are now spending more on processed food, beverages, and refreshments while reducing expenditures on home-cooked food prepared from cereals, pulses, and vegetables. This trend is observed across both rural and urban areas.

In urban areas, the share of expenditure on cereals, vegetables, and pulses has decreased, while spending on processed food has increased significantly. A similar trend is observed in rural areas, with a sharp decline in spending on cereals and a notable increase in expenditure on processed food.

Interestingly, there has been a substantial rise in spending on fruits, eggs, fish, and meat, indicating a shift towards more nutritious options. However, the share of expenditure on these items still lags behind that of processed food.

Despite these changes, the share of expenditure on milk, edible oil, and spices has remained relatively stable over the years, both in rural and urban areas.

It is important to note that while the share of food expenditure has decreased, overall household spending on non-food items has increased. This trend is consistent across rural and urban areas.

The survey also highlights changes in spending patterns on items other than food. Expenditure on conveyance, particularly work-related, has increased significantly due to rising fuel prices. Spending on consumer services like house help, telecom, and the Internet has also risen, while expenditure on clothing, bedding, and footwear has decreased.

Moreover, there has been a notable increase in spending on durable goods such as televisions, washing machines, and mobile phones, as well as on sin goods, possibly due to higher taxes.

Overall, while urban Indians continue to have higher monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) than their rural counterparts, the gap between urban and rural MPCE has narrowed in 2022-23 compared to 2011-12.