Convenience dominates on-the-go food selections

by Staff
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NEW YORK — Consumers choose convenience over all other considerations in food choices when buying on-the-go food, according to "On-The-Go Eating in the U.S.: Consumer, Foodservice, Retailing & Marketing Trends," a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts.

Heath aspects, price and taste did not outweigh convenience in consumer choice of on-the-go foods, according to the report.

"Restaurant food already comprises a sizable percentage of Americans’ diets, and 1 out of every 10 people already buys food at a convenience store in a two-week period," said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. "Food service sectors are seeking to increase their shares of this growing market by adapting to changing consumer attitudes toward meal times, meal sizes and health issues in order to make their products more convenient, healthier and otherwise appealing."

While 65% of consumers said they try to eat healthier, 33% also said they don’t have time to prepare or eat healthy meals. Factors contributing to time restraints include growing commutes and work days and demands of two-working-parent and single-parent households. These factors led 49 million Americans to fast-food and 41 million to store-made, pre-cooked meals last fall.

Additionally, Packaged Facts said as media reports are getting the word out about the advantages of eating more frequent but smaller meals as well as increased options of smaller portioned on-the-go options from the food service industry, one-third of Americans regularly skip meals and often graze on snack foods as a substitute.

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