New Acosta Report Explores the Rising Impact of Inflation on Consumer Dining Habits


Jacksonville, Fla. (May 19, 2022) - Today Acosta released its sixth edition of The Why? Behind the Dine, a research report providing foodservice-specific insight bolstered by the expertise of its CORE Foodservice division.

Acosta’s findings show that while most consumers (54%) are dining out less often due to inflation, about one-third are choosing to trade down rather than trade out, opting for less expensive restaurant and meal options to counter rising prices.

“COVID-19 hit the foodservice industry hard,” said Travis King, President of CORE Foodservice. "While recovery remains on track for 2024, consumers are feeling the pinch of inflation and reacting accordingly. To continue participating in dining out activities, many are sharpening their focus on costs."

While just over 50% of consumers consider food quality the top priority when eating out, meal price has grown in importance, particularly among fast casual diners. When it comes to choosing a restaurant, cost is now the second most significant factor for fast casual diners surveyed by Acosta –– a notable shift from menu variety in August 2021.

"Consumer priorities are evolving, but interest in dining out remains stronger than expected during an inflationary period," said King. "This is largely due to pent up demand resulting from COVID-19 and an increased reliance on foodservice as employees return to the office. But inflation’s tipping point is yet to come. As financial strain worsens, quality service is becoming increasingly important. Providing a valuable dining experience will be critical to incentivize cost-wary consumers in the coming months."

Acosta’s The Why? Behind The Dine report was gathered via online surveys using the company’s proprietary shopper community, conducted in March 2022.

About Acosta 

Acosta is an integrated sales and marketing services provider that enables consumer packaged goods brands and retailers to win in the modern marketplace by delivering progressive solutions and exceptional service. With more than 90 years of experience, Acosta understands evolving consumer needs and helps its clients and customers stay a step ahead, fueling their accelerated performance.

About CORE Foodservice

CORE Foodservice is a re-imagined, best-in-class North American agency focused on providing solutions for the foodservice industry's new operating environment. The uniting of Acosta, a global integrated sales and marketing services company, and The CORE Group, one of the most progressive foodservice sales agencies, brings together industry-leading capabilities from both Acosta and The CORE Group, creating a strategically resourced organization designed to meet the requirements of new customer behaviors and expectations. For more information, please visit