Midwesterners to spend more on vacations, home improvements in 2013

Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bank recently released its first consumer survey, focused on the Midwest market, that showed more residents are planning vacations and home-improvement projects for next year and are are planning to spend more on their holiday purchases this year.

Just under 50 percent of survey participants said they think the economy will be better next year, Huntington said. The bank conducted 2,100 online interviews in November of adult consumers in Ohio, Michigan, western Pennsylvania, Indianapolis and West Virginia.

Some key numbers from Huntington:

  • 52 percent plan 2013 home improvement projects with the majority paid for in cash -- up from 37 percent who completed home improvement projects in 2012. The average projected budget for 2013 home improvements is $5,200.
  • 75 percent plan vacations away from home in 2013, up from 63 percent in 2012. The average budget amount for 2013 is $3,200. More than 60 percent said they'll pay up front with cash.
  • 70 percent plan to spend as much or more on 2012 holiday purchases as last year, with an average budget for holiday purchases of $959.

Local sourcing of ingredients is among the strongest dining trends for 2013, according to the National Restaurant Association's 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast --and that trend dovetails nicely with what several Miami Valley restaurants are doing.

More than seven out of 10 consumers say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers locally produced menu items, and more than six out of 10 said locally sourced menus are a key attribute for choosing a restaurant, according to an association news release based on a survey conducted on behalf of the restaurant association. Currently, a majority of table-service restaurants offer locally sourced produce, meat or seafood, the association said.

Several relatively new restaurants -- such as Urban Harvest, Olive and Butter Cafe -- have made local sourcing a key part of their marketing and their menus. And established restaurants such as Rue Dumaine, Meadowlark and The Winds have been doing so for years.

Rue Dumaine's co-owner and executive chef Anne Kearney sends out a weekly email that highlights locally sourced foods on the restaurant's upcoming menu. Last week, those items included butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, cauliflower, beets, onions, rutabaga and chicken.

This is a case of the Miami Valley leading a national trend, not following it.

For more information about the restaurant association's 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, go to Restaurant.org/Forecast.


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