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Understanding Household Spending Patterns in India

Understanding Household Spending Patterns in India


The recently released Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) 2022-23 sheds light on how Indian households allocate their spending across various categories. In this article, we’ll explore key findings related to food consumption and delve into regional variations.

Processed Food Takes Center Stage

One of the standout trends is the increasing prominence of processed food in household budgets. As India’s economy grows and lifestyles evolve, families are allocating a larger share of their expenditure to convenience foods. Processed food items such as packaged snacks, ready-to-eat meals, and beverages now feature prominently in shopping carts.

Regional Variations

1. Milk in Haryana and Rajasthan

Haryana and Rajasthan lead the way in milk consumption. These states have traditionally been associated with dairy farming, and their households prioritize fresh milk. Whether it’s a glass of chai or a bowl of cereal, milk remains a staple.

2. Meats in Kerala

Kerala, known for its rich culinary heritage, stands out for its high spending on meats. From succulent seafood to flavorful chicken and mutton dishes, Kerala households appreciate a diverse range of protein sources. The state’s coastal geography contributes to its love for seafood.

3. Cereal Consumption Trends

Interestingly, the survey reveals that per capita cereal consumption has declined in both rural and urban areas. In rural households, the consumption of cereals dropped from 11.23 kg in 2011-12 to 9.61 kg in 2022-23. Urban households also witnessed a decline from 9.32 kg to 8.05 kg over the same period. This shift reflects changing dietary preferences and the availability of alternative food options.


As India continues its economic journey, understanding household spending patterns becomes crucial for policymakers, businesses, and consumers alike. The HCES 2022-23 provides valuable insights into our evolving food choices and consumption habits. Whether it’s a warm cup of tea in Haryana, a seafood feast in Kerala, or a quick snack in Rajasthan, our food preferences shape our lives.

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