America’s eating trends over the last five years have shifted to fit the fast-paced lifestyle many people live. Eating is something we fit into our schedule and do not tend to fit our schedule around our eating. We eat in our cars, at our dining tables, alone, with family or friends, really early in the morning or late at night. Most Americans do not have a set eating schedule; they work it around their personal schedule.
American mealtime tendencies are influenced by three food principles: health, convenience, and variety. Age is a big deciding factor on how their eating habits differentiate. Adults under the age of 30 are “snackers.” They are on the go, grab a snack, I will eat later individuals. Adults’ age ranges 30-45 have busier lifestyles also with children and work. They look for convenience that comes with a healthier lifestyle. Snacking is also popular with this age group. The last range of adults, 45 and up, tend to have more time to plan meals. These people are more likely to make their meals at home.
What this means for opportunities in packaging is change. Making packaging convenient and all ready for people on the go is a big opportunity. Considering that these consumers do not have time to prepare, want healthy options, may not have access to a refrigerator, and other little things is where it all starts. It’s time for packaging designers and engineers to get creative. Times are changing.