Consumer eating and drinking behaviors are rapidly changing and constantly evolving. It’s more important than ever to keep track of consumers’ food and beverage consumption habits. The Hartman Group’s Compass Eating Occasions Database provides an overview of the who, what, where, and why of eating occasions across the day.

Findings from our Compass Eating Occasions Database show that the pandemic has reshaped the composition of eating occasions, with the largest impact among younger generations. Overall, 42% of adult occasions in 2021 took place alone (a decrease of 5 percentage points from 2019).

As detailed in the infographic, Millennials witnessed a large drop in alone eating from 2019, which was largely offset by an increase in eating as a couple as many consumers continued to work from home along with their partner.

Gen Z also witnessed a decline in alone eating during the same time frame, which was offset by an increase in both couple and family occasions. For Gen Z, the increase in occasions among family members began in 2020 and has remained high as many moved in with others due to financial impacts associated with the pandemic.

About the Compass Eating Occasions Database

In today's America, the same person eats differently at different times and in varied contexts. People therefore can’t reliably describe in general how often they eat and why. However, they can describe whether, how and why they’ve recently eaten, and with careful prompting they can recall what they have chosen to consume on a given occasion. Eating needs and desires, but also social contexts, drive food choices and sourcing decisions.

The Hartman Group’s Compass database includes daypart, location, social composition, and need states, as well as items consumed and broadly when/where items were acquired.

If you’re looking for ways to unlock your growth potential using a Hartman product like Compass, we’d love to help. To begin the conversation, please contact Shelley Balanko, Ph.D., Senior Vice President:

Click to view full infographic