Morning impaired, eater outers finally a demographic I can relate to

April 3, 2006
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Have a special birthday or anniversary coming up? Most people celebrate with a trip to a favorite restaurant. While expensive, high-end restaurants remain popular destinations for special celebrations, going out to eat for no special reason has become mainstream for most Americans.

I guess I am like most Americans. My name is Joyce and I am an eater outer.

According to a report from Datamonitor, American consumers will spend an average of $1,704 per year on eating and drinking outside the home and miss almost 150 core meals by 2010. Eating out is an ingrained part of our national culture, the report says, and eating habits are evolving to meet the pace and structure of daily life. Consumers are not only missing meals, they are changing the times at which they eat and the types of products they eat, says Datamonitor.

Another market research report says an increasing number of Americans are skipping breakfast. According to The NPD Group, young adults skip breakfast approximately 25 percent of the time, and 35 percent of Latinos do not eat breakfast daily, despite both groups indicating that it's the most important meal of the day.

McDonald's, however, refuses to let us skip out on breakfast. Late last month it launched a website called where it invites the "morning impaired" to re-engage in the idea of a regular breakfast.

My name is Joyce and I am morning impaired. I ate breakfast at the golden arches once 30 years ago and vowed never to do it again. Regardless of my opinion of the menu at Mickey D's, I must admit I like the idea of a quick, drive-thru breakfast I can pick up on the way to work.

Over the past two decades, food manufacturers have adapted to the enormous growth in demand for prepared meals, meals to go and convenience packaging. However, the work is far from over.

As Americans, we are increasingly becoming a nation of eater outers and take outers. I may not be typical, but I have not prepared a home-cooked meal in more than 10 years. As you now know, I am also morning impaired. I think I just peaked earlier than most of my countrymen. Nevertheless, these trends and habits are here to stay and food manufacturers must respond quickly to stay competitive.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

What was your favorite part of FA&M 2014?

View Results Poll Archive


Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!


Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.


FE recent tweets