At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • Examines consumption habits of children and adults, identifying all foods and drinks consumed by time of day, both in-home and away-from-home. It also offers in-depth consumer insight on the reasons behind consumers’ morning food and beverage choices through segmentation analysis of those occasions.
  • Morning: Provides data from panelists’ reports on “yesterday’s” consumption behavior. The morning mealtime is considered to last from the time the panelist wakes up until 11:00 am. Information is acquired from both adults and children.
  • Lunchtime: Explores the situational and attitudinal drivers of lunchtime food and beverage choices, plus key aspects of meal planning, preparation and cooking, and product satisfaction.
  • Dinnertime: Identifies appetizer, entrees, side dishes, desserts and beverages eaten at dinnertime and reveals the needs consumers seek to fulfill through their foods and beverage choices. Similarities and differences between what households members eat when they are together versus when they eat in shifts is examined, along with adult-only meal situation versus adults and child meal situations.



To collect data about drivers of food and beverage choices by individuals in the United States.

Target Population

U.S. consumers, ages 2 years and older.


Breakfast: 2006 and 2011
Lunch: 2007
Dinner: 2004 and 2009


The NPD Group.

Special Note(s)

The NPD Group
Laura Jurek


Sample Design

Cross-sectional panel survey. Uses NPD National Eating Trends (NET) panel. The Mealscape database was weighted to produce a nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers based on: age/sex, household size, household income, presence/age of children in household, Census regions, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) size, and race (white vs. non-white).

Sample Size

Varies by year survey conducted, up to 25,000 individuals.

Key Variables


NameMethods of Assessment
Household sizeInterview/questionnaire
Household incomeInterview/questionnaire
Presence/age of childrenInterview/questionnaire
Race (white vs. non-white)Interview/questionnaire


NameMethods of Assessment
Situational drivers (e.g., presence of children during consumption)Interview/questionnaire
Attitudinal drivers (e.g., needs fulfilled)Interview/questionnaire
Meal planning, preparation and cooking habitsInterview/questionnaire
Product satisfactionInterview/questionnaire
Type of food item consumedInterview/questionnaire
Time of consumptionInterview/questionnaire


NameMethods of Assessment
Census regionN/A

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Obtain data by contacting NPD Group:
Laura Jurek




Geocode Variable(s)

Census Region

Existing Linkages

Mealscapes data on U.S. households have been linked to National Eating Trends data on American food consumption using a follow-up survey.

Selected Publications

None noted.