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June 15, 2022
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.
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?”