An analysis of data from the NPD Group's National Eating Trends (NET) program (which tracks the eating habits of 2,000 American households) revealed that frozen sandwiches, bars and fresh fruit are also becoming part of more Americans' diets, according to the latest Eating Patterns in America report.
But while consumers say they love to cook, they generally prefer others to do the work, said vice president Harry Balzer, who said that the "number of meals Americans bought at restaurants dropped significantly during the recession and isn’t recovering".
He added: “We are still leaving the cooking to others. With restaurant visits down, the manufacturers of our foods are filling more of that need. Television fills a need for cooking too…that’s why the Food Network is so popular. Americans would rather watch others cook on television than make it themselves... What’s the real preparation to consume these 10 items?"
Another key finding in the report was a marked reduction since 2008 in the number of products consumed making overt claims such as low calorie and reduced fat, he said - see the chart below:
Men account for 41% of primary grocery shoppers
As to who's doing the shopping, men now account for more than four out of ten primary grocery shoppers, according to NPD Group's recent report, The New Grocery Shopper.
And while men are more likely than women to describe food shopping as a chore, they are "conscientious" shoppers, and more likely to use a list, says the report.
Not surprisingly, the younger the demographic, the more likely that list is to be electronic, with 31% of 18-34 year-old primary grocery shoppers using an electronic list vs 20% of 35-54 year olds and 11% of over 55s.