Americans are Eating at Home More; Microwave Usage Increases but Not Cooking, Reports NPD

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Americans are eating at home more, and have been since the beginning of the decade, according to The NPD Group, but last year they turned to their microwaves to serve their food up for them.

Microwaving has been flat for two decades, but it increased last year as Americans found a way to eat at home and not cook

The economic downturn can be blamed for a number of lifestyle changes, but causing Americans to cook more is not one of them, according to The 24th Annual Report on Eating Patterns in America, recently released by The NPD Group, a leading market research company. Americans are eating at home more, and have been since the beginning of the decade, reports this year’s Eating Patterns in America, but last year they turned to their microwaves to serve their food up for them.    

“Microwaving has been flat for two decades, but it increased last year as Americans found a way to eat at home and not cook,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, and author of Eating Patterns in America, an annual compilation of NPD’s food and beverage market research. “We’re using our microwaves to warm and heat more, but not prepare more dishes from scratch.”

According to Balzer and NPD’s food industry market research, Americans used their microwave ovens more last year and their stove tops less. Approximately 20 percent of all meals prepared in U.S. homes from 1990 to 2007 involved the use of a microwave, until last year when usage rose ten percent. He said stove tops remain the most popular cooking appliance but the percent of main meals prepared on a stove top dropped from 52 percent in 1985 to 33 percent in 2009.

"There was a lot of speculation last year as to how our eating behaviors changed as a result of the economic crisis. The truth is that consumer behavior changes slowly,” says Balzer. “I’ve observed America’s eating patterns in good and bad economies, and the constant is that there is no recession in eating and Americans don’t want to cook what they eat.”

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,700 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.

For more information contact:
Kim McLynn
The NPD Group
847-692-1781

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