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All by myself... Why eating alone is the new norm for Americans

By Elaine WATSON, 02-Nov-2012

Related topics: Trendspotter, Markets

Almost half (46%) of all adult eating occasions are now solitary, according to new research from The Hartman Group.

And it’s not just solitary snacking that’s driving the trend, with analysis of The Hartman Group's Occasions Compass data revealing that 40% of all adult meals (excluding snacking occasions) are also eaten alone.

"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,” said Hartman Group president Laurie Demeritt.

Indeed, in the workplace, 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”, says Hartman Group.  

Several factors have contributed to the rise in solitary eating, it suggests, including…