Convenience Drives Adult Daily Food Choices, But In Several Ways: Study

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Convenience Drives Adult Daily Food Choices, But In Several Ways: Study

Nearly one in three adults — 72 million adult consumers — call themselves “Convenience Consumers,” but their definitions of convenience vary depending on their life stage and other characteristics, according to a new report by the NPD Group.

According to the report, “The Many Facets of Convenience,” these 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 five or younger) or lower-income households.

“Convenience has been a buzzword 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,” said Ann Hanson, director of product development in Port Washington, N.Y.-based 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.”

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 less tasty, they also indicate that “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’re 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.

The full report is available at