The California Walnut Board & Commission, Folsom, Calif., released survey findings that reveal more than half of Americans don't think about what they're going to eat for lunch until they realize they're hungry. This lack of routine can often lead to poor lunch time choices, with only 27% of people choosing to eat foods that give them energy to power through the day.
This survey also revealed that perceptions of the midday ritual are shifting as the notion of "work-life-balance" becomes increasingly difficult to navigate for the average office worker.
Survey respondents were idealistic, noting that they want their lunch to be a time to recharge and take a mental break from responsibilities.
Additional key findings to note:
- While people are eating lunch during their break, they are often distracted and eating at their desks. In fact, most Americans are checking social media (67%) or the news (59%) during lunch, and most people eat lunch at their desks half of the work week, on average.
- Convenience often trumps nutrition during the lunch hour, and 53% of Americans don't think about what they're going to eat for lunch until they realize they are hungry.
- When it comes to taking a break, Millennials are often the ones skipping lunch the most, with two in three Millennials claiming they often skip lunch to "get ahead" at work. However, 60% of recently promoted Millennials say they take their lunch breaks.
- Those who bring their lunches are more likely to eat healthy. Of those who bring their own lunch, 54% said they eat fruits and vegetables at lunch, 50% bring a salad and one in four include nuts in lunch meals (with nearly 50% of them being walnuts).
The survey data also revealed five different "luncher" archetypes, including the "Lover-o-Lunch," the "Snackaholic," the "Busy Bee," the "Mindful Muncher" and the "Last Minute Luncher."