The days of eating three large meals a day have gone the way of the butter churn.
Now, it’s all about grazing from morning to night, and often relying on foods traditionally thought of as snacks to power through a busy day, according to new analysis by the research firm NPD Group. Americans ate an estimated 386 billion ready-to-eat snack foods last year, up from 356.4 billion in 2011.
A granola bar, dried cranberries and yogurt are often a meal for Shamika Johnson of Akron, Ohio, who also has protein snacks and almonds to get her through her daily to-do list.
“I work. I’m busy. Sometimes, it’s easier to get snacks,” said the 27-year-old masseuse. “Half the time, I don’t have time to sit down for a meal. Combining a bunch of snacks gives me what I need nutritionally.”