Bellevue, Washington -- Eating alone has become as common as eating together, according to new research on eating occasions by The Hartman Group, a leading market researcher on consumer culture. Analysis of The Hartman Group's Occasions Compass data reveals that close to half -- 46 percent -- of all adult eating occasions are now solitary eating occasions and 40 percent of all adult meals (excluding snacking occasions) are eaten alone.
"One of the most interesting aspects of the trend toward eating alone is the notion that it represents the dismantling of the communal meal and the way we 'used to eat'," affirms Laurie Demeritt, The Hartman Group's president and COO. "When you consider these findings and look at the changing patterns of our cultural eating behaviors, we begin to understand why many companies that continue to market to traditional family occasions are missing out on the emerging possibilities concealed within the eating alone occasion for a vast number of adults."
The Hartman Group's extensive qualitative and quantitative research and data collection on eating behaviors finds that America's food culture is evolving from a traditional, status-quo culture to one that is reimagined, consumer-driven and experiential. One stunning example of this is the manner in which many of us eat today, which nearly half the time is completely alone. In certain settings (such as the workplace), in fact, eating alone has become so pervasive that many of us don't realize we’re doing it anymore -- underscoring what a ubiquitous behavior solitary eating is. The rise of eating alone has been fed by a number of trends:
While eating alone is often described as a lonely prospect, riddled with pitfalls related to poor dietary judgment and introspective nutritional fixations, The Hartman Group sees that the growing trend of eating alone is also influencing some profoundly positive and different ways of looking at such an occasion.
For more information please contact:
Sr. Director, Marketing & Business Relations
425.452.0818, ext. 124
Senior Director, Marketing & Business Relations
425-452-0818 ext. 124