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The growth of single-person households in the U.S. – currently estimated at 38 million – is driving an increase in snacking behavior at meal time, according to The NPD Group.
NPD's recent "Snacking in America" report finds that in 2014, annual eatings per capita of snack foods consumed at meal times among solo diners reached 191, compared to 167 in 2011.
“Smaller household sizes and eating alone are among the growing factors with snacking,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Food manufacturers and retailers should think about the unique needs of the solo consumer when developing products and packaging, and marketing messages should be crafted to be relevant to them and their snacking behaviors.”
Similar to their multi-member counterparts, single-person households place a high importance on nutrition, with health and weight management identified as a key motivation, particularly better-for-you snack foods.
Single-person households also plan the snack foods they will eat at meals ahead of time, typically more than a day before. A significantly smaller amount of eating occasions include a snack food that was planned less than an hour before.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to a variety of retail sectors, including automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food/foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys and video games.