The Cooking Fatigue Struggle is Real, But Doesn’t Have To Be

June 15, 2022

The Cooking Fatigue Struggle is Real, But It Doesn’t Have To Be

The Age Old “What’s For Dinner?” Conundrum Has Gotten Personal

The weeknight meal has become a culinary dilemma for consumers across the country. What once was seen as a reprieve from pandemic life, has now become a nightly struggle over “what’s for dinner?” with six in ten Americans admitting they are “burnt out” by cooking according to a survey by OnePoll.

While food consumption at home is slightly higher than it was in 2019, it hasn’t led to a sustained interest in scratch cooking. And as the week goes on, the struggle becomes more real - with the share of consumers cooking dinner declining from roughly 60% on Sunday to 50% by Friday according to a Morning Consult survey. And, what’s more, only a quarter of consumers report cooking just a few times a week at home.

The Answer: Convenience Without Sacrifice

Consumers want meals that are consistently convenient and delicious - with millennials and Gen X prioritizing convenience above all else according to IRI. Today it’s not enough to put the same old, same old on the table - consumers have been there and done that over the past two years. And just as importantly, they don’t want to pay a premium - with two-thirds of consumers citing affordability as a major reason for cooking at home, according to Morning Consult. Consumers are tired of cooking. And we know the share for their stomachs is real - with food apps, quick and fast casual restaurants, ghost kitchens and frozen meals vying for their attention.

Fresh and prepared meals at retail are the answer. Retailers have a massive opportunity to create meal programs that meet the evolving needs of the modern consumer. By delivering incredible variety and meals that are packaged as a premium, they can provide wow moments and value all at once - without sacrificing anything. Consumers are looking for solutions that take the guesswork out of mealtime and provide a variety of fresh taste options that are easy to prepare.  

Every retailer should be asking themselves “Do I deliver a meal solution that meets the needs of consumer habits that are forever changed?”