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As generations continue to evolve, consumer behavior has become far less household-oriented and geared more toward the individual, so finds The NPD Group.
In fact, 50 percent of eating and beverage occasions happen when consumers are alone, likely driven by an increased number of households that consist of just one person (27 percent) -- the highest level in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Consumers are alone about 60 percent of the time while eating breakfast, factors of which include time constraints, routine, and being away from home at work or school, according to NPD's food and beverage market research.
Some 55 percent of lunch meals are eaten alone, driven by the evolving consumer trend toward quick-and-easy meal solutions; snacking occasions are often solitary as well, with many consumers away from home or on-the-go.
Dinner is the least likely meal occasion, at 32 percent, as the evening meal remains the most family-oriented of all occasions, and nearly half of all families with kids eat dinner together at least five times per week, according to NPD.
“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,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “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.”