Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What is America eating?

I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by the always funny Harry Balzer. The topic? The NPD Group's Annual report on eating habits in America. The data is fascinating, particularly for food lovers like me! Here is a summary of some of their findings:

Even though Hummus and Sushi have experienced fantastic growth, the true winner of Food of the decade is Yogurt! 33% of people in the US have eaten yogurt at least once in 2 weeks - that is a lot of people!

I know it sounds obvious but did you know women and men prefer different foods? Can you guess the top 5 foods that women prefer more than men and viceversa?

Women prefer Yogurt, hot tea, bottled water, candy/gum and salads more than men. Men preferred alcohol, burgers, cold sandwiches, french fries and coffee more than women.... hmmm not very healthy that list.

Now lets loom at breakfast. Did you know that the top 10 foods/beverages consume at breakfast have not changed in the last 10 years? Only the ranking have changed, but the same foods come back over and over again: Coffee, cold cereal, juice, milk, fruit, bread, eggs, hot cereal, tea and my favorite ever: bacon!

Now lets go out of the house and look at restaurants. These are the top growing restaurant chains in the US: Five Guys (recently tried their burgers, not bad, but loved the peanuts!), Chipotle (a family favorite!), Jimmy John's, Buffalo Wild Wing, Dunkin Donuts, Qdoba, Little Cesar's (can't go wrong with $5 pizzas), longhorn steak house, Einstein's bagels (you need to try the Asiago Cheese with the salmon spread!) and Panera bread. Surprised not to see McDonalds?

But still people eat at home more than at restaurants, and this is what Americans are eating in the right order of priority (fastest growing): Yogurt, Bars, Chips, Bottled Water, Nuts and Seeds, Pizza, Fresh Fruit, Poultry Sandwich, Specialty Italian, Cheese! Think about the list, noticed something? very few of these foods need to be cooked!!!! Americans are eating without cooking!

And what are we eating less of? Here you go: carbonated drinks, milk, peas, fruit juice, corn, sausage sandwich, cheese sandwich, beef, stuffing and flavored noodles. Think about it, the majority of these required if not cooking at least heating!

Now, if Americans go on a diet, they are more likely to go on their own diet, followed by one prescribed by a doctor, and weight watchers. I personally like to stick to my Dukan for as long as it keeps working!

And now, let's go and break the trends and cook something!

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