A Disruption in Eating Behavior

July 27, 2017

Shifts in technology, trade and travel have changed the way Americans make time to eat. 

Americans' eating routines are vastly different than they used to be, as fundamental shifts in technology, travel and trade have placed food at the center of everyday life and popular culture. Food is both fun and important. This shift toward a deeper interest and participation in food culture is a real cultural shift, and is at the heart of why consumers break away from their regular eating routine, according to new findings from the Hartman Group (http://www.hartman-group.com), Bellevue, Wash.

The group's report, named Culture of Food: New Appetites, New Routines, 2015, says most consumers’ eating behaviors are intentional in both their everyday eating and their weekly rhythms, while one-fifth of consumers are most likely to lack a routine altogether. Yet 8 in 10 consumers maintain a frequent (17 percent) or occasional (63 percent) break from their routine eating. They're more likely to break from routines at mealtimes, primarily dinner, and snack almost as many times as they eat meals each day. Nine percent don't stay with their regular breakfast schedule, while 18 percent change it up at lunch and 41 percent at dinner. Another 32 percent revise their snacking routine.

Here's how participating consumers described a typical eating routine:
●23 percent says they usually eat around the same time and have about the same amount each day, but what they have and why always seem to change.
●20 percent note they can’t describe their routine because they really don’t have one.
●17 percent usually follow a routine for the whole week, but will occasionally vary what they do.
●14 percent are creatures of habit when it comes to eating.
●5 percent have/like to stick to a fairly strict regimen that governs what and when they eat every day.
●3 percent have a routine for weekends but not during the week.

To get an infographic, click here.