SOURCE: Grain Foods Foundation

September 10, 2008 15:38 ET

Brown Bagging Is the Way to Lunch This Fall

Kate Gosselin of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" with the Grain Foods Foundation Offers Tips to Save Money and Calories

RIDGWAY, CO--(Marketwire - September 10, 2008) - This fall, brown bags are poised to become the hottest must-have accessory with adult consumers carrying more than 8.5 billion brown bag lunches this year, according to the NPD Group.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of women currently pack a lunch for themselves at least sometimes, with 39% indicating they do so at least once a week. That number is expected to grow, according to a recent Harris Interactive® survey conducted on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation -- more than one-third (37%) of US women who pack their own lunches indicated they plan to do so more often in the coming year than they have in the past.

Kate Gosselin of TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" is teaming up with the Grain Foods Foundation to provide brown bagging tips that help make it easy for moms to pack a healthy, affordable and satisfying lunch for themselves and their families.

Not surprisingly, the current state of the economy is a key driver with 81% of women indicating that money is an important reason for packing their lunch. Almost half of U.S. women eat lunch out at least once per week, spending an average of $9 each time according to the survey. The amount spent does not increase with income level.

Brown bagging can save consumers hundreds -- even thousands -- of dollars per year, a top concern for many families. In fact, women with school-age children at home are more likely than those without children (59%) to pack a lunch.

"Managing expenses is a priority not just in my family but with many others across the country right now," said Gosselin. "Making sandwiches and packing healthy lunches is a relatively easy way to save money and control your diet."

While consumers are looking to brown bagging to trim their savings, they may see the added benefit of a slimmer waistline. In general, brown bag lunches tend to be smaller in portion size and lower in calories. Nearly 40% of US women cited nutrition as a reason for packing a lunch. As for what's going into those brown bags -- sandwiches are the number one choice across the board.

"Grains are an ideal choice at lunch since they provide much-needed energy and sustenance to make it through the day," explained Judi Adams, MS, RD and president of the Grain Foods Foundation. "Plus grain foods such as sandwiches, pretzels, crackers and granola bars are convenient, delicious and portable, making them brown bag friendly."

To demonstrate just what kind of impact consumers might see on their wallets and waistlines, the Grain Foods Foundation has created an online savings tool for consumers to track the financial and caloric savings of packing a lunch. By joining the Brown Bag Club, consumers can calculate their savings, download coupons, get delicious sandwich recipes and register to win a year's worth of free groceries. Consumers can register at www.grainpower.org.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Grain Foods Foundation among 1,536 US adult females (aged 18 and over) within the United States between July 31-August 4, 2008. Data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

About the Grain Foods Foundation

The Grain Foods Foundation, a joint venture of members of the milling and baking industries formed in 2004, is dedicated to advancing the public's understanding of the beneficial role grain-based foods play in the human diet. Directed by a board of trustees, funding for the Foundation is provided through voluntary donations from private grain-based food companies and is supplemented by industry associations. For more information about the Grain Foods Foundation, visit www.grainpower.org.

Contact Information