Study Finds That Dessert Is Disappearing from American Dinner Tables

Study Finds That Dessert Is Disappearing from American Dinner Tables
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March 10, 2015

Americans appear to be losing interest in dessert. According to a recently released study by The NPD Group, a global information company, dessert is disappearing from dinner tables across the country.

In its 29th annual Eating Patterns in America Report, The NPD Group reports that only 12 percent of dinners eaten in American homes include a dessert; that is down from 15 percent ten years ago. The highest period of dessert consumption was in 1986, when 24 percent of all dinners included a dessert.

"If this trend of the past 30 years continues, desserts will be gone from our dinner tables and we are on target to serve the last dessert on February 27, 2054!"said Harry Balzer, senior vice president, The NPD Group's Chief Food Industry Analyst and author of the NPD Group's Eating Patterns in America Report. "The trend in American homes is about one-dish meals. Americans have been steadily cutting back the number of items served at a main meal and dessert ranks 4th on the list for a meal after the main dish, vegetable and starch. Having dessert makes the whole meal more complicated."

The top three desserts consumed in U.S. households are fruit, cake and ice cream, according to the report. All are down over time.

The study found that older Americans, adults over 65, are the heaviest dessert eaters. They eat dessert at home twice as often as any other age group and even they are cutting back. For the year ending on February 2014, people over 65 ate 76 desserts per person per year at home. In 2000, they ate 104 desserts per person per year at home.

"Dessert adds to the effort of making a meal," Balzer continued. "You have to prepare it and clean up, plus it adds to the cost of the meal. It's one more thing Americans are learning to do without. The French have a saying, 'let them eat cake', just don't eat it after dinner!"