Going out gets left out

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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CHICAGO – One of the biggest single changes in eating patterns in the United States has been the decline in restaurant patronage and an increase in meals from home, according to The NPD Group's Eating Patterns in America Report.

Americans bought 191 meals per person for the year ending August 2014, the slowest pace of eating out since 1993, according to the report. Additionally, Americans now get eight out of 10 meals from home. However, consumers aren't cooking more meals at home.

“We are eating more meals in our homes, but not cooking more dishes,” explained Harry Balzer, vice president of The NPD Group and author of the 29th annual Eating Patterns in America Report. “You can see how Americans are making their lives easier, despite the economic limits, by looking at the foods and beverages that have become a part of more American diets.”

Balzer said the "real Foods of the Decade" are the food and beverages that have increased the most in the American diet. The top items include yogurt, bottled water, pizza, poultry sandwiches, Mexican food, fresh fruit, bars, frozen sandwiches and chips.

“What’s the real preparation to consume these 10 items…a spoon for the yogurt and maybe a fork and knife for the pancakes,” Balzer said. “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.”
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