How are Consumer Eating Habits Evolving?

How are Consumer Eating Habits Evolving?

Have you noticed a shift in consumer eating habits? And how diners' eating routines have changed?

The Hartman Group has released a report and info-graphic with data outlining how Americans' eating habits have evolved over the last few years.

"The dynamics of food culture and changing demographics in the U.S. heavily influence consumers’ shopping and eating behaviors. Marketers who focus only on 'trip type' or 'need state' analysis are missing the raw and true motivations that drive consumer shopping behavior. Eating occasions emerge from the way consumers live and are what give meaning and context to the way they shop," according to the Hartman's Eating Occasions Compass. 

In The Hartman Group's report, it reveals that diners are not sticking to their routines. Apparently, 8 in 10 consumers are breaking away from their normal eating routine. Specifically, 17% do this "frequently" and 63% do it "occasionally."

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How Millennials are Shaping Food Trends


Millennials today are 83 million strong, according to the most recent U.S. Census, and represent a fourth of the population in the United States. Coming out in force, their impact on food culture cannot be ignored.

According to the Hartman Group, the ethnic diversity of Millennials is driving food trends toward “authentic, global” experiences. In fact, the research found that Millennials are “culinary adventurers,” who like to try different types of cuisine with unique flavorings.

With a major focus on health, Millennials are demanding fresher options in the form of ethnic cuisine as compared to older generations who prefer more traditional fare. Millennials — having unprecedented access to information from traditional media channels to online social media — continue to focus on organic, unprocessed, simple foods.

Using these outlets like networks like Facebook, Google, and YouTube, Millennials continue to seek knowledge about the latest in food and food research, shaping their habits in the foodservice industry. Read more

Agents of Change: What’s Shaking Up the Food and Beverage Industry?


The premium phenomenon (customers willing to pay for higher quality) is having an impact on today’s food and beverage market.

However, the pillars of quality (freshness, health and wellness, transparency, and culinary values) are changing, as attendees at The Hartman Group’s A.C.T. Food Culture Forecast 2016 found out, driven by socioeconomic trends, broadening competition, and a redefinition of quality as it relates to premium experiences.

In terms of freshness, consumers equate higher quality with straight-from-the-farm ingredients and made-from-scratch dishes that are less processed and more pure — whether or not that is actually true. Transparency helps to reveal details about production and sourcing.

Hartman is not only seeing a change in what consumers eat, but also where and how they are eating and cite an “erosion of formal eating rituals,” with almost half of daily eating being snacking, which leads to less communal and family meals.

These change agents, and others, will impact many foodservice business models and present new opportunities for growth and revenue. Read more