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Americans eat at home less often

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Nearly half the dinners eaten by American families are not prepared at home, according to Nation's Restaurant News.

The trade magazine says 44 percent of the average consumer's food dollar now goes to meals and snacks eaten or bought away from home, up from 25 percent in 1955.

Ten years ago, 64 percent of American dinners included at least one homemade item; now, according to the NPD Group's 1996 Report of Eating Patterns in America, only 55 percent contain a home-cooked dish.

Where are people getting their meals? Increasingly, the grocery store.

Nine of every 10 supermarkets include a deli or bakery.

Seven of every 10 supermarkets have prepared-foods sections.

Four of every 10 supermarkets offer fast-food service with seating or standing areas.

Another recent survey by the National Restaurant Association finds that two-thirds of respondents say their favorite restaurant foods provide taste and flavor sensations that can't be duplicated easily at home. They say they lack skills, knowledge, kitchen equipment and foodstuffs.

Pub Date: 2/19/97

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