What America Eats: Paradigms Shaping Food Choices

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Published Nov 21, 2014 | 103 Pages | Pub ID: LA5380649
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What America Eats: Paradigms Shaping Food Choices

Packaged Facts wanted to know what America eats. To tackle the challenge, we decided to examine the broad trends at play today that influence what, where and how America eats. Using 10-year trending data for consumer attitudes and behaviors, analyses of restaurant menu databases, retail product introductions and proprietary surveys, we present our response in a new report, What America Eats: Paradigms Shaping Food Choices.

Food retailers and foodservice providers know it’s critical that they adapt to how America eats both at home and on the go. Through our research, Packaged Facts found that three broad consumer behavior trends influence these decisions: snacking and sharing; real food versus processed food; and consumer health, weight, diet and exercise.

Snacking and sharing

We’re a nation of snackers, and the food industry has made structural changes in its distribution and food packaging strategies, as well as launching initiatives, to capitalize on American snacks. What America Eats: Paradigms Shaping Food Choices examines the data through this snacking lens and aims to:
  • Show how evolving food retail distribution formats are blurring the food retail and foodservice landscapes
  • Provide snacking guest traffic share by restaurant segment, with daypart analysis
  • Assesse snacking within the context of changing consumer eating choices over time
  • Assess the degree meal time patterns incorporate snacking
  • Analyze consumer snacking behaviors during 2004-2014 by demographic.
  • Reveal how leading restaurant operators are leveraging snacking opportunities
  • Identify restaurant innovation snacking menu item trends
  • Explore how packaging and health positioning are shaping the food retail snack opportunity
Real food versus processed food

Foodies may have sounded the cry for “real” food, but this call hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. Consumers of all stripes are looking for alternatives to processed foods (witness the continued growth of organic and natural products), and the food industry is responding in kind. What America Eats: Paradigms Shaping Food Choices examines the data through this lens, and:
  • Studies consumer attitudes toward processed and real food and their effect on food choice
  • Conceptualizes the meaning and product reach of real food
  • Challenges myths about processed food
  • Trends consumer attitudes toward local & natural foods, cooking, fast food and frozen dinners
  • Assesses real food within the context of changing consumer eating choices during 2004-2014 by demographic
  • Identifies how leading restaurants are leveraging all-natural positioning via education and transparency, and how locally grown takes natural positioning to the next level
  • Explores consumer interest in unprocessed food and its influence on restaurant visits
  • Explores consumer preferences for inherently healthy food at home vs. restaurants
  • Explores the shift toward real food ingredients across major food categories
Consumer health, weight, diet and exercise

Health, weight, diet and exercise are perennial factors influencing our eating habits. Data over the past decade reveals much about how these constants have affected change by the food industry and consumers themselves. What America Eats: Paradigms Shaping Food Choices examines the data through this lens, and:
  • Trends consumer health, diet & exercise attitudes during 2004-2014 by demographic.
  • Explores the degree of influence low-/no- healthy food terms have on fast food restaurant and at-home food choice
  • Identifies how consumers view their dieting & exercise, why they diet, and which food behaviors they use to lose weight
  • Via BMI analysis, explores the relationship between consumers’ BMI and their food choices, and amount of exercise and their food choices.
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