Three and Out

If three meals a day were ever part and parcel of everyday American life, they certainly are not any longer. According to a new report by market analyst Datamonitor, American consumers will skip an average of 150 “core” meals a year by 2010. By that time, those consumers will spend an average of $1,704 eating and drinking out of their homes.

As Matthew Adams, Datamonitor analyst and author of the report, explains, “Eating out is an ingrained part of national culture, and eating habits are evolving to meet the pace and structure of daily life. Consumers are responding to nutritional needs and the demands of daily life by missing meals, changing the times at which they eat and even changing the type of products they eat.”

In the process, eating out in the evening is no longer the special occasion it once was, largely the result of two factors: the decrease in cost of casual dining and the emergence of other motives. Datamonitor finds only 6% of American consumers regard “having a special occasion” as the most important reason for dining out. Instead, nearly half of consumers (49%) consider eating out ideal for connecting with friends.

By 2010, Americans are expected to consume almost 50 extra evening meals, snacks, breakfasts and lunches per head outside the home.

The latter two, however, are expected to be skipped more in coming years. Datamonitor says U.S. consumers will skip 65 lunches by 2010 (up from 2005's 62), with skipped breakfasts jumping to 64 by then. Still, skipping breakfast in the U.S. is nowhere near as prevalent as in the U.K., which averages 114 skipped breakfasts (nearly one third) per person per year.

Organ-ic of Growth

Sales of natural and organic products have increased steadily in recent years, and recent moves by Wal-Mart are expected to propel the market even further.

The move to add new organic items—food and non-food—to shelves is part of the retailer's green policy that surfaced last year in response to consumer demand. That effort also is helping the company cut such expenses as energy and packaging, all while improving a suspect reputation in regards to sustainability and environmental issues.

Wal-Mart's enormous scope and power over the shelves of 4,000 U.S. stores and 2,200 international locations offers the potential for affecting an entire supply chain—and not only its own. Simply put, sustainability experts believe Wal-Mart pressure could push manufacturers and competitors to increase their sustainable efforts and organic offerings.

By the time this sees print, Wal-Mart will have doubled its organic grocery offerings, but the giant hardly is finished there. Executives say they continue to seek more such products to offer in grocery, apparel and paper, virtually throughout the store. By the summer, Wal-Mart will have 400 organic food items in stores—at “the Wal-Mart price,” says a company executive.


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* In an agreement between National Starch Food Innovation and Roquette Freres, National Starch is the exclusive distributor of the NUTRIOSE soluble fiber product line in food and beverage segments in the U.S. and Mexico.

* Takasago International Corp. (USA) Flavor Division appointed Jennifer Mei as senior scientist and Agnes Koellner as senior account manager.

* Sargento Foods Inc. hired Michael G. Vaszily as senior brand manager of its Consumer Products Division, with responsibility for refrigerated snacks and shredded cheese.

* FONA International added Gretchen Moon as account executive, Chris Naese as senior account executive, and Donovan Wong as director of strategic account development.

* Bastiaan de Zeeuw, managing director of Boost Nutrition C.V., will succeed the retiring W. David Hands as Riviana Foods' president and chief executive officer, effective June 30, 2006.

* Ruiz Foods appointed F. Bryce Ruiz to president and chief operating officer.

* Archer Daniels Midland Company acquired the Cook cocoa powder line from World's Finest Chocolate.

* SPI Polyols will be honored for its ongoing support of the Delaware Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) at the Chapter's 5th annual Promise Ball on June 10.

* D.D. Williamson named Kevin Folkes as vice president in charge of global sales.

* Danisco unveiled a new North America headquarters, a state-of-the-art, centrally located facility with over 240,000 square feet of space in New Century, Kan.

* Citroil Enterprises Inc. appointed J. Hunter Christensen as senior account executive for the recently opened flavor division.

* MGP Ingredients Inc. appointed Tim Newkirk chief operating officer, effective April 1, 2006, and Jack Healy vice president of distillery products sales and administration.

* CP Kelco announced it completed its purchase of Shandong Gold Millet Biological Products Company based in Shandong Province, China. Gold Millet became known as CP Kelco (Shandong) Biological Co. Ltd. Gold Millet's GMXAN and GMZAN xanthan gum products will retain their brand names and join the CP Kelco family of biogum products.

* Rich-SeaPak reached an agreement to acquire WorldCatch LLC of Seattle.

* Over the next few years, DSM will be upgrading its production plants to make sure all of the company's facilities, including those outside Europe and the U.S., comply with the strict environmental standards that apply in Europe and the U.S. The new standards should—among other things—lead to a 75% reduction in DSM's global emissions of sulfur dioxide and a 20% reduction in its nitrogen oxide emissions.

* NSF International (NSF) was accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to offer Safe Quality Food (SQF) 1000 and 2000 certifications for food manufacturers and processors.

* Technomic and Technomic Information Services moved into larger spaces within their location at 300 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60606.

* Ocean Cuisine International has commissioned a custom research study with NPD Foodworld to track consumer seafood preferences by region across the U.S. at various types of foodservice outlets. The research allows Ocean Cuisine International to gain a thorough understanding of what restaurant consumers are ordering and looking for in seafood.

* Nurture Inc. announced a sales agent and distribution partnership with American Ingredients Inc. (AI), a division of Pharmachem Laboratories Inc., appointing AI as Nurture's exclusive Western distributor.

* A new research website has launched—, an international research community dedicated to the understanding and advancement of the GliSODin SOD/gliadin complex.

* Slovenia-based Vitiva appointed P.L. Thomas as its strategic partner for the sale of Vitiva products in the U.S. and Canada. Vitiva also formed a new alliance with Food Ingredient Technology, to penetrate the growing ingredients markets in the U.K. and Ireland.

* Maya's Meals LLC and Advance Food Company Inc. have formed Maya's & Co. Foods LLC for the production of non-organic handheld meals and snacks for sale and distribution in North America.