Single Servings: Do They Help?

cc Wyscan

Are single-size packages a good thing?

As I wandered through the grocery store today I was struck by how many foods are available in single servings. There’s yogurt (of course) and string cheese, cream cheese, milk (dairy and soy), and tuna, and ice cream, and so much more.

And it got me to wondering “Is this a good thing?”

On the up-side, a single serving provides portion control. There’s no eye-balling 1/3 of a can or 1/6 of a jar to get the right serving size. I know that the carb count of the label is what I am eating.

Single servings are easy to take along with me. I can have a snack pack in my purse or glove box. It’s really handy to have a pack of tuna and crackers in my desk drawer — especially on those days I’m “too busy” to take a lunch break.


Single servings cost more per serving. Compare the per-unit price. Sometimes a single serving costs twice as much. This is not very budget friendly.

There’s also a higher environmental cost with all the extra packaging. Each serving has its own jar or can or box or wrapping. Much of the packaging can’t be recycled easily.

And the food that comes in single servings isn’t necessarily healthful. That single serving of Cherry Garcia has 220 calories, 12 grams of fat (8 grams saturated) and 24 grams of carbohydrate. That might be okay every once in a while, but not every day. Does having a single serving easily available make it easy to over indulge?

What do you think? Do single servings help or not?