Shifting Food Habits & Routines: 2021 Eating Occasions

This special report explores the context, needs and behaviors associated with eating and drinking occasions. Utilizing The Hartman Group’s proprietary Eating Occasions Compass database, Shifting Food Habits & Routines: 2021 Eating Occasions explores American eating and drinking occasions in 2021 compared to data from both 2020 and 2019. It was researched and prepared by Hartman’s Retainer Services team and provides our analysts’ perspectives to help marketers connect to the cultural changes occurring in the U.S. 

Shifting Food Habits & Routines: 2021 Eating Occasions finds that in late 2021 some aspects of eating normalized while others continued to be impacted by COVID-19 as consumers adjusted to new routines and habits or settled into old ones. As of late 2021, concern over COVID-19 remained high leading many consumers to take precautions, adjusting both shopping and eating routines to minimize risk. Remote work also continued to impact consumers’ eating habits. At the same time, many consumers resumed life as “normal,” which includes activities such as dining out at restaurants or using takeout/delivery services. Since summer 2021, the share of food spending at restaurants versus retail once again closely resembled pre-pandemic behaviors. 

Topics explored in the report include:

·       Participation in eating occasions across the day
·       Snacks and at-home eating
·       The social context of eating 
·       Restaurant sourced eating occasions
·        Cooking and degree of preparation 
·       Leftover consumption, eating occasions and the role of restaurants
·       Trading up for delicious flavor experiences

Publication date: March 2022
15 pages

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