NEW YORK – Consumer spending on food away from home will outpace spending on food at home by 2018, and quick-service restaurants will reap most of the gains, according to a new report published by Rabobank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group. Despite the recent emphasis by consumers on eating more at home that has been brought on by the economic recession, Rabobank believes the U.S. has not reached a turning point in consumer habits.

On the contrary, Rabobank said the U.S. restaurant industry has an excellent track record of riding the highs and lows of the business cycle and taking a growing slice of the consumer food dollar. Within the Q.S.R. category, the report highlights restaurant concepts such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread as examples of businesses that are refining their businesses with an eye towards future growth.

By further addressing nutrition and quality issues and emphasizing low-cost, Rabobank predicts the Q.S.R. sector is going to continue growing and capturing a greater share of the consumer’s food dollar.