Food As Fuel

E.J. Schultz takes stock of Americans' on-the-go eating habits:

"New Convenience Items Balloon Food Sales," stated an Ad Age headline in 1960. What was all the excitement about? Frozen meals, cake mixes and instant potatoes — foods that by today's standards would be considered a bit of a hassle. We are now living in a yogurt-and-snack-bar world, where the fastest-growing foods are those that often require little or no preparation. …

Indeed, 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, according to NPD. Even staples such as soup and cereal — once considered easy — have lost momentum to items that can be scarfed down on the go.