Consumers choose convenient "on-the-go" foods over factors such as health, price and taste, according to a new US study.
The study, conducted by Packaged Facts, found that 33 per cent of consumers do not have time to prepare healthy meals due to demands of working days and pressures on parents.
This has meant consumers are heading towards more "on-the-go" foods that they can quickly consume at work or in the car, encouraging a demand for these foods from snacks manufacturers.
The study also suggested that one-third of Americans replace meals with snack foods following media reports that smaller, more regular portions can encourage weight loss.
"Foodservice sectors are seeking to increase their shares of this growing market by adapting to changing consumer attitudes toward meal times, meal sizes and health issues, in order to make their products more convenient, healthier and otherwise appealing," said Tatjana Meerman of Packaged Facts.
While 65 per cent of consumers said they try to eat healthier, forty-nine million people in the US consumed fast-food and 41 million consumed store-made ready meals last autumn due to time demands, according to the study.
The most recent company to be focussing on this trend is Campbell Soup who announced it will sell the Godiva chocolate brand in order to focus on healthier snacks, simple meals and soups.
A study by Leatherhead Foods in June said the overall market for health products in the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Australia was worth a total of $66bn (€49bn) last year.
The study said the best sectoral growth is predicted for the relatively undeveloped bakery and snacks and prepared foods markets.