When it comes to meal prep, Americans are using fewer dishes and
ingredients at a time when food and beverage occasions remain flat,
according to the NPD Group. As a result, major food companies, which are
already contending with losing share to new, smaller entrants, are
scrambling to meet changing consumer needs.
means that food manufacturers and foodservice operators are
increasingly competing for a larger share of a smaller food and beverage
pie,” said David Portalatin, VP, food industry analyst at NPD. “This
doesn’t mean that main meals, ingredients, condiments and side dishes
are going away, it just requires food manufacturers to reconsider the
role of these items in the occasion and how these items can stay
relevant to consumers’ new eating patterns.”
More one- and two-dish meals are growing at the expense of
traditional three-part meals, according to NPD. The trend is most
pronounced at dinnertime, while breakfast has gotten more involved with
the addition of eggs. The availability of healthy portable snack foods
may be contributing to the trend as Americans consume these foods at
breakfast, lunch and dinnertime.
Food manufacturers and retailers are also contending with consumer demand for food purity.
“Fresh, limited processing and natural are desired characteristics
particularly among Millennials,” according to NPD Group. “Given
Millennials' integration of fresh and natural foods into a healthy
lifestyle and the fact that NPD’s 30-plus years of eating pattern trend
shows that consumption of fresh foods increases with age, the
longer-term outlook for fresh foods is strong based on a deep-dive
generational study NPD is currently conducting.”
and multicultural attitudes are also influencing consumption patterns
as Millennials are more diverse than the generations that preceded them
with 44% being part of a minority race or ethnic group, according to
NPD. Even more diverse are those Americans younger than 5 years old with
half being part of a minority race or ethnic group. By 2044, the U.S.
Census Bureau projects that more than half of all Americans will belong
to a minority group.
News Source: Supermarketnews