Food on the Go
By the end of the 20th century, ready-to-eat “convenience” foods had become a significant part of our diet. Most Americans came to depend on the ability to buy such food whenever and wherever they wanted. Growers, manufacturers, grocers and convenience store owners, and restaurants attempted to meet this demand—and create more of it—through a variety of new products, inventive technologies, and expanded menus.
“Convenience” stores have been a popular quick stop for snacks, beverages, and other basic items since the late 1940s. They usually maintain extended hours, are conveniently located, and sell food and drink designed for consumption on the go, as well as some staples like milk and bread. Competition from convenience stores prompted other food stores to stay open longer hours too. In some areas without supermarkets, convenience stores remained residents’ primary source of food.