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Number of Lunch `Brown-Baggers' at an All-Time High

Monday, August 4, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

A rise in lunches carried from home is contributing to the softening of the mid-day meal business at commercial restaurants, according to a new study by NPD, a leading market research company.

 According to the NPD study, entitled "How Brown-Bagging Is Affecting Foodservice Lunch," weekday lunches carried from home reached a new high point in 2007, increasing from 35 bagged lunches per capita in 2006 to 38 in 2007, which translates to 8.5 billion brown bag lunches a year for adults, 18 and over.

 Adult males carry brown-bagged weekday lunches most frequently, but adult females have driven gains over the last few years. White collar professionals with mid- to high-incomes tend to have the greatest interest in carrying their weekday lunch from home. The most frequent brown-baggers pack their lunch an average of three times per week.

 Among consumers who typically visit restaurants for their weekday lunch, nearly half said they were visiting less often, a pattern that applies to quick service and full-service restaurants. NPD reports that the declines in foodservice weekday lunch are largely the result of fewer meals being ordered from both commercial and non-commercial outlets (e.g., workplace cafeterias) to take back and eat at the workplace.

Consumers cite financial concerns as the top reason for carrying their lunch from home more often, and health and nutrition ranked second, according to the NPD “brown-bagging” study. Other reasons include convenience, taste, diet, quality and environmental concerns.

The Consumer Price Index, just released this summer, saw the highest jump in 26 years.  Experts have linked rising food prices in part to federal corn-based ethanol mandate,. Under current law, nearly 30 percent of the U.S. corn crop will be burned for fuel, which will drive up food prices for the near future. 

For information on how to stretch your meat dollar, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgZG_dc0JJ8

For more information on the  food versus fuel debate,  go to http://www.balancedfoodandfuel-old.org/.


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