Food Engineering

Snacks now half of all eating occasions, according to researchers

As the rhythm of daily life changes, so do individual eating preferences.

January 31, 2014

According to researchers from the Hartman Group, snacks now constitute half of all eating occasions for US consumers. A new report, "Modern Eating: Cultural Roots, Daily Behaviors", found consumers are interested in less processed foods in smaller size packages, that can be eaten on the go. The emphasis on mobility isn't surprising, considering researchers found food eaten alone (without a dining companion) now accounts for 47 percent of all eating occasions, and food eaten within a half-hour of purchase now represents much more than just restaurant food. According to Hartman, although Americans say they value three balanced meals, eating practices rarely play out that way as an on-the-go lifestyle keeps consumers from sitting down at the dining room table.