We eat what we want, when we want. No more of this breakfast, lunch and dinner stuff. We snack all day. We casually skip meals. And we want to customize everything we cram into our mouths.
It’s as if our social-media habits are going right to our stomachs….
These may seem like quirky, student eating habits, but they’re evolving into lifetime traits. The numbers are mind-boggling. At least 35% of the meals eaten by Millennials aren’t meals at all, but snacks, reports consultancy The Kruse Company. Four in 10 Millennials snack more than once daily, reports research firm Technomic. And only 5% of all consumers eat three square meals a day, says Technomic….Perhaps that’s why 20% of the cookies and apple pies sold by McDonald’s are at breakfast — and why one of its biggest “limited time” product roll-outs in 2012 won’t be a burger, but McBites, a popcorn-size chicken snack. It’s why Dunkin’ Donuts sells gobs of Chicken Salad sandwiches at 9 a.m. And why half the products Denny’s sells are breakfast items. It’s why Kellogg has marketed Special K Chocolatey Delight and Rice Krispies
as after-dinner snacks. And, it’s why 20% of the folks who buy Stonyfield yogurt eat it instead of dinner.
“I don’t think my kids have eaten a real meal since last Thanksgiving,” laments Stan Frankenthaler, vice president of innovation at Dunkin’ Brands, which owns Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins….
This eat-what-I-want-when-I-want trend is changing some of the biggest names in food — from McDonald’s to Kraft to Kellogg to Dunkin’ Brands. Most have turned their new product labs and test kitchens on their heads. It’s no longer about inventing the next big meal, but about concocting the next big snack.