Being single means spending more at the supermarket for food. A recent survey - made by Hayes, Nedved & Associates of Sewickley, Pa., for the Newspaper Advertising Bureau Inc. in 11 metropolitan cities - showed single-person householders lay out almost twice as much per week at food-store checkout counters as multiperson household shoppers.
Single households have grown 64 percent since the mid-1970s; and it is the fastest growing segment in household-category statistics. The survey found some of the nation's largest cities - New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago in that order - had the greatest number of one-person households.
Although there is some evidence that in-a-hurry singles buy quick-cook and easily prepared products, most of the singles' high costs result from the expense of too-large packaging. Many food parcels are set up with servings for two or more persons.
Interviews in the survey also showed that singles were no longer groups of the young or the never-married; others included in the research were the widowed , the divorced, and the part-time single parent. Singles - especially those over 65 - reported they ranked ease of preparation of foods ahead of nutrition and basic costs.