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Chris Roach

Shopping is, for the most part, discretionary. But everyone’s got to eat, which is perhaps the simplest reason why the food and beverage (F&B) industry is the hottest subsector of retail real estate. Not surprisingly, a closer look at trends reveals other factors driving F&B’s ascendency, and the overall picture becomes more complicated and the industry’s continued rise less certain.

In 2019, Americans spent more money on restaurants than on groceries for the first time, according to the US Census Bureau. For Americans, eating and drinking are as much of a pastime as a bodily imperative, so in cities across the country, more dining establishments are opening or expanding operations to meet demand.

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