Should Dessert Go With Every Meal?

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Should Dessert Go With Every Meal?
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Should Dessert Go With Every Meal?

It’s hard not to indulge when there are doughnuts in the office, but it appears that this type of craving is more widespread than you’d imagine.

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According to a food research company in Chicago, 50 percent of adults said that they ate dessert after lunch and as a mid-afternoon snack.

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The company, Technnomic found that 35 percent of adults said that they ate desserts as a mid-morning snack.

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65 percent of adults said that they ate dessert after dinner.

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Perhaps the most surprising finding in the survey was that 19 percent of the participants said that they replaced a meal with dessert.

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Interestingly, the study also found that many adults enjoyed dessert when they were happy, seeing it as a treat to themselves, which contradicts the stereotype that sad people indulge in sweets.

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Forty six percent of the participants said that nostalgia played a part in their decision to eat something they enjoyed during childhood.

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The study's findings were the result of a survey completed by 1,500 adults.

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According to Technomic’s senior consumer research manager, Kelly Weikel, the perception of dessert has changed: “In past years it’s been seen as a sweet ending to a dinner, but what we’re really finding is that there is a blurred line with snacking.”

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Technomic has also noticed that various types of foods have grown sweeter and are now categorized as dessert like soft drinks, waffles, muffins and chocolate-covered or yogurt-dipped fruit.

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Jorge Rosas works at Edible Arrangements, a store that prepares “on-the-go” baskets of fruit desserts. Rosas has observed that customers are health conscious, but still want to indulge: “They are snacking, but a lot of the snacks that they’re having are mainly dessert-based snacks, like fruit dipped in chocolate. They also get fresh fruit salads and parfaits.”

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Thirty six percent of the participants said they would be likely to order a dessert if a "mini" portion was available.

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Executive vice president of Technomic, Darren Tristano, explains why desserts have become so integral to all meals: "Consumers aren't holding off on dessert until after dinner. They're reaching for easily accessible, hand-held and portable treats at just about any time of day."

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Many consumers feel better about ordering dessert if they can share it. About 44 percent of desserts consumed at full-service restaurants are split between customers.

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Around 70 percent of the survey participants said that they ate dessert at least once a week or more frequently.

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Is it dessert or breakfast? Fast food chains have jumped on the opportunity to shock customers by mixing savory, sweet and just about every other conventional aspect to a meal. Here are some other foods that blur typical boundaries between meals.

Image Credit: Dunkin Donuts via Twitter

Burger King Bacon Sundae

The Burger King Bacon Sundae was created when the company's innovation team observed on Pinterest and other social media outlets that people were using bacon in distinct ways. Is this meant to be eaten after dinner? Or as a snack?

Image Credit: Burger King via Pinterest

Cinnabon Pizza

Cinnabon transformed their traditionally sweet cinnamon roll into a savoury pizza bite in order to diversify its menu, but where does this fit in during meal time?

Image Credit: Cinnabon via Twitter

Carl's Jr. Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwich

Carl's Jr. began to test this frozen treat in a few small restaurants, and the dessert went viral. Pop-Tarts are already a very sweet breakfast indulgence, but adding ice cream makes them even more of a dessert.

Image Credit: Carl's Jr. via Pinterest

Dunkin Donuts Glazed Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin Donuts changed their typically savory breakfast sandwich by sweetening it up with a doughnut. This meal makes breakfast practically a dessert!

Image Credit: Dunkin Donuts via Twitter

El Pollo Loco Chocolate Nachos

Nachos are great savory snack, but this El Pollo Loco dish makes dessert seem more like a snack.

Image Credit: El Pollo Loco via Twitter

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Got an insatiable sweet tooth? You are in good company.

Today, more people enjoy dessert at all times of the day. According to a recent study, while dessert was once a special treat after dinner now it's an ever-present craving, reinforced by the ubiquity of sweets that appear in breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Items like chocolate-covered fruit or sweet granola-filled breakfast parfaits make it seem like sweets go with every meal. Many Americans are not only indulging in sweets several times a day, but also sometimes eating them in the place of real meals.

Check out the slideshow above to find out why Americans are eating more sweets throughout the day.

More from Kitchen Daily:
Why There's Always Room For Dessert
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America's Best Donuts

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