Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eating Cocoons

Last week at O’Hare airport I observed people inhaling snacks consisting of bagels, blueberry muffins, bottles of muscle milk, bags of beef jerky, etc., while working their smart devices.  Implication: America’s eating behavior continues to morph.  Welcome to the era of the Eating Cocoons!

Read On:
Recently I have been working with some clients on developing content as it relates to snack foods.  A key statistic I learned from an eating occasion study conducted by the Hartman Group, a research firm headquartered in Seattle, Americans snack an average of 2.35 times per day.  For most people snacking is an individual experience – a good time to fuel up between meals or missed meals; a great time to multi-task and briefly connect with family, friends, business associates or online acquaintances via a smart device.  Consequently, hand-held convenience foods have become a major focus for food manufacturers and restaurant operators. 

In the past I have addressed how we are evolving into a 24/7 “Grab & Go” G&E society.  However, as I stated in my opening, more eating occasions are occurring in a cocoon.  In the process, we are not conversing with people as we do when we actually sit down and enjoy a meal together.  Welcome to the era of the Eating Cocoons!

Are social conversations disappearing?


  1. Interesting as always. In our current culture work demands dominate and multi tasking is an adaptive tool. Available healthy snacks can help fend off obesity and other ills of this stressful aspect of life. I am not aware of any data to suggest people want less personal time for face time, genuine relationships and enjoyable sharing of meals

  2. Social conversations are moving to the digital world..but they are still happening..just not around the dining table (sadly). As for snacking, the issue (as I see it) is that people are eating mindlessly and making poor choices when they grab. There is nothing wrong with eating when hungry and choosing healthy foods- at any time of day.

  3. I too see more and more people dining while staring intently into the screen of a portable device. I am guilty.

    Snackfoods have come a long way but there is still a need for healthy fresh grab and go foods. The multi tasking is here to stay - the food must catch up.