Speed eating

by Dan Malovany
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Consumers might be snacking more because they spend less time eating meals. Recently published research by NPD Group noted that, on average, Americans wolf down breakfast in only 12 minutes, take 28 minutes for lunch and consume dinner in 24 minutes. Moreover, 34% of those responding to Datamonitor’s 2013 consumer survey value “ease and simplicity” at breakfast — that’s more than twice (16%) those who value it for dinner.

Not surprisingly, sales of those microwavable breakfast handheld items are experiencing solid growth and are one of the few bright spots in the freezer case, according to I.R.I., a Chicago-based market research firm. Overall, sales of handheld breakfast items rose 11.8% to $984.9 million for the 52-week period ending Aug. 10, 2014. In contrast, I.R.I. reported frozen breakfast entrees inched up only 1% to $757.5 million for the same period.

Clearly, the emphasis at breakfast is on eating and getting out of the house as quickly as possible, said Tom Vierhile, innovations insights director, Datamonitor.

“Utensil-less dining and snacking is definitely influencing launches like Kellogg’s Eggo Waffle Bites and Pillsbury Heat ’n Go Pancakes, which go after the most time-stressed meal of the day — breakfast,” he said.
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