Ready-to-eat convenience food sales over the last decade have increased, according to a new survey.
The USDA’s Flexible Consumer behavior Survey reports consumers in 2015-16 reported purchases of 2.4 ready-to-eat foods in the past 30 days, up more than 25 percent from 2007-08, when consumers reported consuming 1.9 ready-to-eat foods in the same period.
The USDA survey found for 2015-16, about 89 percent of adults bought food from a fast-food restaurant and 90 percent of adults ate at a sit-down restaurant in the past 12 months.
The 2015-16 survey related consumers reported eating 3.6 food away from home meals in the last week, down slightly from 4 food-away-from-home meals reported in the same period in 2007-08.
For both 2007-08 and 2015-16, less than half of food-away-from-home meals were from a fast-food restaurant.
The percentage of adults who saw nutrition information on a fast-food restaurant menu increased from 20 percent in 2007-08 to 42 percent in 2015-16. The percentage of adults who saw nutrition information on a sit-down restaurant menu increased from 16 to 27 percent.
However, the percentage of adults who used nutrition information on a fast-food restaurant menu was 41 percent in 2015-16, up only 1 percent from 2007-08. The number of adults who used nutrition information on a sit-down restaurant menu actually declined, from 53 percent in 2007-08 to 43 percent in 2015-16.
The survey found that the MyPlate guide to support healthy eating is not widely known by consumers.
The survey found 24 percent of adults reported that they had heard of MyPlate in 2015-16, up from 20 percent in 2013-14. Among those who heard of MyPlate, the survey found the percentage of adults who had tried to follow the recommendations in the MyPlate plan remained stable at 35 percent over these two time periods.