- On average, 36.6% of adults consume fast food on any given day.
- 83% of U.S. families consume fast food at least once weekly.
- The younger and higher-income an adult is, the more likely he or she is to consume fast food.
- It is estimated that 11.3% of an average adult’s daily calories are from fast food.
- 80% of Americans eat fast food at least once per month.
- 34% of children eat fast food daily.
- The fast food industry employs 4.791 million people in the U.S.
- Worldwide, the fast food industry is valued at $931.7 billion, and $317.5 billion in the U.S. alone.
- The average American individual spends $70,500 on fast food in their lifetime and about $1,200 per year.
- Frequently consuming fast food has been shown to increase one’s risk of depression by up to 51%.
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Fast Food Financial Statistics
- Almost 5 million (4.791 million) people are employed in the fast food industry in the U.S.
- Fast food consumption has increased an average of 2.2% per year.
- The fast food industry itself has grown an estimated 2.9% per year over the last 5 years, and 7.1% during 2022.
- The fast food market size in the United States in 2022 is estimated to be worth $317.5 billion.
- There are more than 200,000 fast food businesses in the U.S.
- The fast food market is the 2nd largest market in the category of Accommodation and Food Services in the U.S.
- The fast food sector is the 35th largest market in the U.S., overall.
- The Top 3 companies in the fast food industry, worldwide, are McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Yum Brands.
- The Top 3 companies in the United States’ fast food industry are McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Inc., and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
- McDonald’s sells an average of 75 hamburgers per second, or 4,500 per minute!
How Much Money is Spent on Fast Food
- The average cost of a fast food meal was said to be $6 or less.
- Recent high inflation rates, however, have raised this amount by 8 – 19.6%.
- On average, an individual in the U.S. spends $1,200 per year on fast food.
- The average household spends approximately 10% of their annual income on fast food.
- Over the course of a lifetime, each individual in the U.S. spends an average of approximately $70,500 on fast food.
- In total, about $200 billion per year is now spent in the U.S. on fast food.
- Worldwide, the fast food industry is estimated to be valued at approximately $931.7 billion.
- In 2021, revenue from fast food worldwide was expected to be more than $885 billion.
How Many People Eat Fast Food Monthly
- A whopping 80% of people in the United States eat fast food at least once per month.
- With a population of 329.5 million in 2020, this equals 263.6 million people eating fast food at least every month.
Fast Food Consumption Demographics
- According to the CDC, between 2013 – 2016, 36.6% of adults have consumed fast food on any given day.
- This comes out to about 50 million adults in the U.S. having eaten fast food on any given day.
- Younger adults were more likely to eat fast food, with 44.9% of adults between 20 and 39.
- Adults in middle-age (40 to 59 years of age) showed 37.7% of people having eaten fast food on that day.
- Among adults 60 years old or older, 24.1% had eaten fast food on a particular day.
- Men were 2 – 3 percentage points more likely to have eaten fast food than women in most age groups.
- The exception was 40 – 59 year-olds, whose men were 0.2 percentage points less likely to have eaten fast food.
- Fast food consumption varied by ethnicity, with non-Hispanic Black adults most likely to eat fast food (42.4%).
- The second-highest fast food consumers were non-Hispanic Whites at 37.6%, followed by Hispanic adults (35.5%) and non-Hispanic Asians (30.6%).
- Higher-income adults were more likely to consume fast food (42% of people earning 350+% of the federal poverty level.)
- Of middle-income adults (earning 130 – 350% of the FPL) 36.4% consumed fast food on a given day.
- Lower-income adults were least likely to consume fast food, with 31.7% of those earning 130% or less of the FPL.
- 34% of children consume fast food daily.
Fast Food Habits
- Lunch was the most frequently eaten fast food meal, with 43.7% of adults reporting this fast food purchase.
- Dinner was a close second, with 42% of adults reporting having eaten this fast food meal.
- Breakfast fast food was reported by 22.7% of adults and fast food snacks were reported by 22.6% of adults.
- Men were more likely than women to have fast food for lunch (48.3% compared to 39.1%).
- Women were more likely than men to have fast food for a snack, however, (25.7% versus 19.5%).
- An estimated 11.3% of an average adult’s daily calories come from fast food.
- On days when children eat fast food, it is estimated that they consume about 120 more calories.
- 83% of U.S. families consume fast food once per week or more.
- Only 17% of families in the U.S. don’t consume fast food at least once every week.
- Hamburgers are the main focus of U.S. fast food, with about 30% of fast food restaurants centered on this food.
- Almost 80% of McDonald’s food was consumed by children.
- On average, McDonald’s has sold 270,000 hamburgers per hour, or 4,500 hamburgers per minute, which equals 75 hamburgers per second!
Fast Food Risks
- Simply living in close proximity to a fast food restaurant is correlated with a 5.2% increase in risk of obesity.
- Consuming too much fast food also can increase one’s risk of Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Eating fast food frequently has been found to increase one’s risk of depression by as much as 51%.
- Money Crashers
- The Barbecue Lab
- Budget Branders
- IBIS World, Fast Food Restaurants Industry in the US
- IBIS World, Fast Food Restaurants in the US – Market Size
- IBIS World, Global Fast Food Restaurants Industry