In an article on How America Eats, we're being portrayed as so unbearably lazy that fixing a bowl of cereal is seen to be a hassle. Even things like instant cake mixes, potatoes and frozen meals are just too much trouble. We're now looking for 'on the go food' but also quite fussy about complexity of flavor. Grocery stores allocate much more floor space to prepared foods so that shoppers can just pick up and go eat.
Oddly, of the 10 fastest-growing in-home foods and beverage categories over the past decade, only two are routinely heated (pizza and pasta), while the rest are pretty much open-and-eat, such as nuts and chips. The problem for food sellers is that there are two large population groups with totally different views on what they eat.
Millennials are disloyal, shopping anywhere, anytime and in constant search of variety and new ethnic foods, often from smaller brands. To them, yesterday's chop suey is today's "sofrito," a trendy mix of Latin herbs, vegetables and spices.
Baby boomers, meanwhile, still have favorite brands, but their behaviors are also changing. They seek smaller package sizes as they age and have fewer mouths to feed.
So companies are trying to offer the same brands in different forms, Kraft Foods Group is trying what it calls a "good, better, best" approach. For instance, it offers Velveeta Shells "n Cheese in a cup for 99 cents, in a box for $1.99 and in Cheesy Skillet dinner kits for $3.49. The company is plugging economy brands -- such as Kraft string cheese -- at dollar stores, while pouring more advertising into premium products.
Frankly this is rather disheartening and unappetizing. If you haven't had or made a real homecooked meal in a while you don't know what you're missing. Use that oven. Ironically so many of us really really want the best stainless steel stove while not wanting to really really use it. It's all for decor.