The Hartman Group research indicates that 46% of all adult eating occasions are solitary. Dining alone has replaced the family meal occasion almost half of the time. There are multiple reasons for this including the large number of women in the workforce, the fast pace of our society and sometimes simply the average workload and the sheer number of us who have formed the habit of eating at our desk. However more than half of adult solitary dining takes place in the home, so this trend should interest retail marketers and foodservice alike.
One caveat researchers noted is that due to these solitary dining occasions, consumers’ portion sizes continue to creep upwards. Yet this same group is concerned about wellness and proper nutrition. However among senior citizens, sometimes solitary dining is not their first choice but a factor of living alone. Another study indicated in this population two in five show warning signs of poor nutritional health.
The proper ingredient choices can help create single-serve meals that fulfill a variety of different nutritional goals. In single-serve meals, egg ingredients can form an important component with a nutritional profile that includes upwards of six grams of protein from a single egg, without any trans fat. In addition, the protein provided by egg ingredients is high quality and contains easily digestible amino acids, an important consideration when formulating for the elderly or active adults. Egg proteins help create satiety, a boost to adults concerned about overeating when dining alone. And in addition, egg ingredients play host to a large number of additional nutritional benefits including choline, folate, potassium, phosphorus and a host of vitamins.
Eating alone might be the new normal but a reliable stand-by ingredient, the egg, can help create exciting market possibilities to take advantage of and capitalize upon this trend. For formulation ideas visit http://www.aeb.org/food-manufacturers/functional-properties-uses.