Eating Occasions Salad

By: Steve Markenson, Vice President, Research & Insights, FMI

At FMI, our persistent focus lies in exploring and understanding consumer behaviors during grocery shopping, both online and in-store. Amidst our extensive research efforts, it's easy to lose sight of the fundamental objective: fulfilling the needs of shoppers, who are ultimately determined to nourish themselves and their families. This emphasis underscores the importance of our latest research findings.

FMI has provided an array of insights on how shoppers have changed their shopping behaviors over the past four years while we navigated a pandemic, supply chain issues and unprecedented inflation. This coupled with changes in how we work and where we learn, along with the ever-changing role of technology, have all impacted the manner and location of eating occasions. And yes, I am purposely saying "eating occasions" and not "meals" as that vernacular has changed, too.

Growth Forum Research Cover

I don't know about you, but how I sustain myself throughout the day has changed significantly over the past four years. I'm eating more nutritious and healthy foods, preparing more meals at home and working from home more than ever. I also appreciate the focus on eating occasions, as I often find my breakfast and lunch now being broken down into a series of snacks over the day as I jump from Teams calls to Zoom calls, and an occasional break to take the dog for a walk. I am fairly certain that I am not unique in how I compartmentalize my cravings, and this research supports that belief.

This new research requested by FMI's Growth Forum strives to take a broader look across eating occasions and from where Americans are sourcing these occasions. With the help of Circana's broader view of the consumer as a result of the merger of IRI and NPD Group and the perspective of the Oliver Wyman team, this report strives to identify new opportunities for the food industry as eating occasions evolve. This analysis presents the food industry with trade partner collaboration opportunities to respond to shoppers’ unique value matrix — relevance, experience, taste, rewards, health and convenience, while competing with the plethora of food service options.

Explore how our industry can be successful by capitalizing on consumers' shifting habits, especially when companies consider dayparts, such as snacks, to inspire experimentation and create new memories through food.

Download the Report