Restaurants hit as folks snack at home


by Bruce Harovitz, USA Today

In: snack-ish meals eaten at home.

Out: meals eaten at restaurants.

American consumers are putting together more meals at home — though not necessarily cooked meals — and eating fewer meals out, according to an a new study by the research firm NPD Group. This makes for one of the biggest changes in eating patterns of Americans over the past five years, concludes the comprehensive study of more than 7,000 consumers, the 29th Annual Eating Patterns in America Report.

Americans bought just 191 restaurant meals per person over the year ending Aug., 2014, vs. 215 meals per person in the year 2000, when eating out was at a peak.

“We are eating more meals at home — but not cooking more meals,” says Harry Balzer, vice president at NPD Group, in a phone interview. “We are taking snacks and making them meals.”

Among the most popular snacks: yogurt, sandwiches, cereal bars and fruit. In a tough economic environment, that's rapidly evolving into the new American meal, says Balzer.

“The real foods and beverages of the decade are not hummus, quinoa, nor kale, and not even Sriracha,” says Balzer. Rather, he says, its snack foods or simple foods that require little to no preparation.

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Source:  USA Today

Posted by Jami Howell

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