Microwave Usage Increases but Not Cooking, Reports NPD
Nov 13, 2009
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The economic downturn can be blamed for a number of lifestyle changes, but causing Americans to cook more is not one of them, according to The 24th Annual Report on Eating Patterns in America, recently released by The NPD Group. Americans are eating at home more, and have been since the beginning of the decade, reports this year’s Eating Patterns in America, but last year they turned to their microwaves to serve their food up for them.

"Microwaving has been flat for two decades, but it increased last year as Americans found a way to eat at home and not cook," says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, and author of Eating Patterns in America, an annual compilation of NPD’s food and beverage market research. "We’re using our microwaves to warm and heat more, but not prepare more dishes from scratch."

According to Balzer and NPD’s food industry market research, Americans used their microwave ovens more last year and their stove tops less. Approximately 20 percent of all meals prepared in U.S. homes from 1990 to 2007 involved the use of a microwave, until last year when usage rose 10%. He said stove tops remain the most popular cooking appliance but the percent of main meals prepared on a stove top dropped from 52% in 1985 to 33# in 2009.

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