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!
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?