01/12/2006: Those Food Techies...
"Three of every four American adults are eating dinner at home, but preparing it from scratch is now the choice of only one-in-three, and restaurant take-out has overtaken sit-down dining. This according to the latest issue of "Food Technology" magazine and its cover story -- "What, When, and Where America Eats," a compilation of the latest trend studies in U.S. food consumption.
In 2005, the average American ate 80 meals at restaurants, a drop of 18 percent from 1985. But over the same period, the selection of take-home meals rose 72 percent to 57 meals a year. And while restaurant take-out climbs in popularity, supermarket take-out is also a force. Forty-two percent of adults are purchasing supermarket take-out each month -- a 12 percent surge in the past two years.
Here are some other interesting trends included in the feature:
-- The most popular ethnic food remains Italian. But a 10 percent surge by adults naming it their favorite has Mexican food fighting for the top spot.
-- 4 of 10 restaurant-chain chefs think portion size will be a new major trend. More than 3 in 10 expect comfort foods (i.e., meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, pot roast) to be a driver.
-- No- and low-fat foods have slimmed to single-digit growth but it’s still a $32-billion segment -- more than twice the size of the widely acclaimed organic foods category.
-- Coffee is the No. 1 consumed breakfast food -- by 53 percent of Americans. Now quick service restaurants are bringing designer brands to their menus.
-- There are more U.S. Chinese restaurants than McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger Kings combined.
-- Vegetable consumption is falling by two percent, but fresh fruit is rebounding after 14 years in decline. Fresh fruit is the No. 1 snack of kids age 2-12.
* Institute of Food Technologists, the international not-for-profit scientific association for professionals who research, regulate and make the food we eat. Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues.
Courtesy of US News Wire.
Hmmm - Comfort Food and Coffee. Works for me and ME.
Karen on 01.12.06 @ 05:31 PM CST