By Judy Mottl, Tech Times
American households are no longer spending a great deal of quality time together enjoying a meal around the family dinner table. In fact, over 50 percent of eating and drinking is taking place on a singular basis, according to a new NPD Group report.
One big reason is that 27 percent of U.S. households consist of just one person living in the home, which is the highest percentage to date according to Census Bureau figures, states the research.
“Consumption behaviors in the U.S. have become less household-oriented and more individualized than previous generations,” states the NPD Group report.
The research reveals that eating breakfast alone, which is happening for about 60 percent of the U.S. household, is the result of busy schedules, time constraints, work and school time tables.
“Fifty-five percent of lunch meals are solitary occasions where quick and easy is the driving need, and, again, many consumers are away from home. Between-meal occasions, like snacking, are typically solo since these occasions typically occur when consumers are away-from-home or on-the-go,” states the NPD report.
Dinnertime is the most opportune time for household members to eat together, but 32 percent of suppers are solo dining events.
“Dinner is unique among meal occasions since it focuses more on being family or socially-oriented. Nearly half of all families with kids eat dinner together at least five times a week,” according to NPD.
When it comes to grabbing a nonmeal snack, the figure increases to almost 70 percent, according to charts in the study.
“The number of solo eating and beverage occasions have wide-ranging implications for food and beverage marketers in terms of new products, packaging, and positioning,” NPD’s food and beverage analyst Darren Seifer said. “As lifestyles shift, it’s key for marketers to profile and segment occasions when their product is consumed in various ways, including solo versus social occasions, in order to connect most effectively with consumers.”
The results seem to contradict a recent study on how people view time alone. As Tech Times reported last month, a new study suggests that many of us aren’t too crazy about being alone and that two-thirds of men would rather undergo electric shock than be alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes.
“Those of us who enjoy some down time to just think likely find the results of this study surprising — I certainly do — but our study participants consistently demonstrated that they would rather have something to do than to have nothing other than their thoughts for even a fairly brief period of time,” explained University of Virginia psychologist Timothy Wilson.
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