Consumer Trends

Redefining three meals a day

Americans are still making time for the traditional three meals a day, but they are supplementing with more snacks. According to the NPD Group's National Eating Trends report, meals are getting smaller as snacking continues rise.

  • Meals have shrunk in size. Only 4.1 food and beverage items are now consumed per meal versus an average of 5.3 in 1985
  • The majority of respondents considered dinner the only complete meal
  • One out of five—20%—of “eating occasions” is a snack
  • 53 percent of Americans eat two or three snacks a day

“Our frequent snacking is a result of our hectic lifestyles, need for convenience, increasing desire to eat healthier foods, and simply to enjoy what we eat,” concludes Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst.


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