Fast Food Statistics

Report Highlights

  • 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%.

fast food statistics

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%.

 

 

References:

  1. CDC.gov
  2. Money Crashers
  3. CNBC
  4. Eatthis.com
  5. The Barbecue Lab
  6. Budget Branders
  7. IBIS World, Fast Food Restaurants Industry in the US
  8. IBIS World, Fast Food Restaurants in the US – Market Size
  9. IBIS World, Global Fast Food Restaurants Industry
  10. Census.gov
  11. Investopedia
  12. Renolon
  13. Studyfinds.org

 

 

Please Share This
Leave a Comment