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Health Concerns, Busy Lives Drive Demand for Convenient Foods: Report

NEW YORK -- As American consumers increasingly seek out for foods that are both healthier and need little or no preparation, the market for "portable foods" is growing, according to a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts, a division of

While convenient foods have been around for a while, what's changed is the extent of consumers' options for obtaining them, ranging from traditional "sit-down" restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, and vending machines both in terms of products and places where such items can be bought, according to the report,"On-the-Go Eating: Consumer Mindsets, Menu Trends and Product/Packaging Innovations."

One major indication that consumer attitudes and eating habits have been transformed by on-the-go lifestyles is that the line between meals and snacks has blurred, while at the same time, U.S. consumers are starting to realize the importance of balancing portability with good nutrition, according to the report.

"Americans now spend more than 100 hours a year commuting to work, and these statistics represent growth potential for convenient food products tailored for eating on the go," said Packaged Facts acquisitions editor Don Montuori. "In particular, car-friendly food packaging designed to be handheld, spill-free, and cup-holder-compatible is in heavy demand."

"On-the-Go Eating" looks at the market for convenient foods in quick-service and fast-casual restaurants, mass-market food retailers, and alternative channels, such as convenience stores and vending machines. Key trends dealt with in the report include the steadily growing demand for gourmet sandwiches in foodservice channels and their as-yet-unrealized market potential in supermarkets, convenience stores, and other mass-market retailers; the effect of litigation and new and proposed legislation on food producers and marketers; and the growing focus on fighting obesity and related medical conditions in the United States through better-for-you products, including among kids.

The $3,000 report can be bought directly from Packaged Facts at, and is also available at
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