Food companies shrink portions to target solo consumers


Jessi Devenyns, FoodDive

June 7, 2019


Dive Brief:


·         Instead of focusing on marketing to traditional suburban family units, more companies are now catering to urban, single-person households, according to The Wall Street Journal.

·         About 28% of households, or 35.7 million Americans, live alone today. That is more than double the 13% that lived alone in 1960, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

·         In single-person households, less is more in terms of portions. Although these individuals consume less, they are willing to pay more to do so, according to research reported by the Journal.


Dive Insight:


While families used to regularly gather for dinner, now that is no longer the standard as 62% of U.S. households are composed of single people or couples. Smaller families means different needs and companies are scrambling to discover them.


In the millennial and Gen Z demographics, portion size seems to be one of the dominating considerations when it comes to shopping for single consumers. A recent report funded by the American Bakers Association showed that 75% of millennial and Gen Z shoppers don't like wasting bread, and more than 20% won't buy a new loaf after throwing away an unused one away. With an engrained environmental conscientiousness, today's consumers are hyper aware of the more than 6 billion pounds of produce that goes to waste in its stores annually and aren't looking to contribute further to that figure.


In fact, according to the same report, more than half of the millennial and Gen Z consumers said they would purchase additional baked goods if they were offered in smaller portions. This is not a new revelation either. In 2017, Pinnacle Foods launched a Duncan Hines’ Perfect Size for One baking alternative, and around the same time,  Betty Crocker released single-serving Mug Treats that allow consumers to make one portion desserts. Eggs have also taken a hit due to the reduced need for large portions. Tyson Foods has responded to this by offering Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles, which are microwavable eggs in a cup.


Snacking has also seen a rise in popularity as consumers turn toward...


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