Here's some food for thought: most people in the U.S. are eating alone and not sharing their meals with others.

A majority of Americans, 57 percent, are now eating meals alone, including both meals eaten at home or away from home. The recent data drop by research firm the NPD Group lists the solo-nature of every meal:

A. 57 percent eat alone for all occasions.

B. 60 percent eat breakfast alone.

C. 55 percent eat lunch alone.

D. 32 percent eat dinner alone.

E. 72 percent eat non-meal occasions alone.

So what do the numbers from the NPD Group tell us? People tend to eat snacks by themselves, as well as devour breakfast alone before going to work or to school. But lunch is often shared with others, which makes sense considering school cafeterias, grabbing a bite with colleagues and going out for lunch with friends. Dinner seems to be a family affair, with most Americans eating with a spouse, dining with friends or with a full family gathered around the table.

"The number of solo eating and beverage occasions have wide-ranging implications for food and beverage marketers in terms of new products, packaging and positioning," said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. "As lifestyles shift, it's key for marketers to profile and segment occasions when their product is consumed in various ways, including solo versus social occasions, in order to connect most effectively with consumers."

According to the NPD Group, nearly half of the households with children eat dinner together at least five times per week. The company also notes that 27 percent of American households only have a single person, the highest level in U.S. history according to the Census Bureau.

The NPD Group surveys a representative sample of U.S. consumers daily about a variety of topics, including eating habits. The sample includes about 5,000 people, within 2,000 households, according to the NPD Group. The company releases an annual report called "Eating Patterns in America."

Photo: Guian Bolisay 

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Tags: Food Eating