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Food Sources and Expenditures for Seafood in the United States

June 17, 2020

David C. Love, Frank Asche, Zach Conrad, Ruth Young, Jamie Harding, Elizabeth M. Nussbaumer, Andrew L. Thorne-Lyman, and Roni Neff

The aim of this study was to explore United States (U.S.) seafood consumption patterns, food sourcing, expenditures, and geography of consumption. We analyzed seafood intake and food sourcing using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles 2007–2008 to 2015–2016 for US adults ≥19 years old (n = 26,743 total respondents; n = 4957 respondents consumed seafood in the past 24 h). Seafood expenditures were extrapolated by combining NHANES with three other public datasets. U.S. adults consumed 63% of seafood (by weight) at home. The top sources of seafood (by weight) were food retail (56%), restaurants (31%), and caught by the respondent or someone they know (5%). Sixty-five percent of consumer expenditures for seafood were at restaurants and other “away from home” sources while 35% were at retail and other “at home” sources. Slightly less than half of overall U.S. food expenditures are “away from home,” which is much lower than for seafood, suggesting that consumers have very different spending habits for seafood than for an aggregate of all foods.