Convenience Drives Daily Food Choices for Most American Adults – But In Different Ways, Reports NPD

As straightforward as the concept of convenience may seem, it is more complicated to define when it comes to Americans making food choices, according to a recent study by The NPD Group, a leading market research company. In its latest food and beverage market research, NPD finds that 72 million adult consumers—nearly one in three adults—are “Convenience Consumers,” but their needs are varied depending on their life stage and other characteristics.

According to the NPD report, The Many Facets of Convenience, Convenience Consumers, who attitudinally place a premium on convenience, tend to fall into one or more of the following groups: younger adults, males, singles who have never been married, single-member households, working parents, parents with a young child (age 5 or younger), or lower-income households. Convenience Consumers feel their lives are hectic and rushed and that a dinner taking more than 30 minutes to make is inconvenient. While they believe convenient foods are more expensive, less healthy, and don’t taste as good, they also indicate “convenience is worth paying for.”

The NPD report, which examines how consumers define, value, and fill their need for convenient foods throughout the day, also found that while Convenience Consumers differ attitudinally from other consumers in many ways, they are similar in some regards: two-thirds of them, on par with other consumers, say they enjoy cooking; and, like other adults, the majority of Convenience Consumers plan meals ahead of time.

“Convenience has been a buzz word in the food and beverage industry for a long time, but we found through our research that it’s really not a one-size-fits-all concept,” says Ann Hanson, director of product development in NPD’s food and beverage unit. “Americans differ in how they define and value convenience. It’s important that food and beverage marketers differentiate the various meanings of convenience among their consumers and message accordingly…or they’ll miss the target.”

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 visit

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