Failure to Lunch: The Lamentable Rise of Desktop Dining

For 11 years, June Jo Lee, an ethnographer, has been traveling the country, talking to Americans about how they eat. ... Schooled in anthropology, Lee works for the Hartman Group, a consulting firm. She helps clients like Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Whole Foods Market and Google better understand how people think about and consume food so they can repackage products and design new ones, find novel distribution methods or keep their own employees productive and well fed. After all her conversations, note taking and analysis, Lee summarizes her findings like this: ‘‘The way people eat at work is pretty sad.’’

Can Kellogg Save Cereal by Selling It as a Snack Food?

"Offering cereal in portable packages and pitching it as a snack also puts it in a very competitive category," said Laurie Demeritt, CEO of the Hartman Group, a food consulting company. Alternatives such as Greek yogurt, trail mix and snack bars boast high protein and are perceived as less processed. Cereal has “a little bit of baggage,” she said. “If there’s an umbrella trend going on, it’s a desire to have things that are more fresh.”


To Reinvigorate Sales, Mondelez Reimagines the Snack

"Snacking is the hottest topic we have right now — all our clients want to know about it,” said Melissa Abbott, vice president for culinary insights at Hartman. “Snacks used to be a once-a-day treat, but consumers now think snacking is healthier than sitting down to three meals a day, in part because more snacks are being made with wholesome ingredients and less processing.”



The A.C.T. Experience

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