Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What is in a family meal today?

Can food research companies unravel what is today’s traditional family meal? What a quagmire we find ourselves in today trying to understand what is a family meal. I recently went looking for answers from some of the food industry leading research companies. Each has a series of benchmark studies all “best in class” yet seems to answer or categorize only what product consumers are eating, when they are eating. Yet none could address what we found have witnessed or hear of as the “new family meal paradigm”. Here are three examples of which we have seen first hand:
1. Single family dinner occasions with meal components from McDonalds & Taco Time for children 14 years olds and dinner for adults from Whole foods prepared meal section. This is dinner, is it a family meal. We say yes since they all eat together.
2. During a recent visit to NYC after a meeting we went to a business associates home ordered food in. His wife, myself and him, we ordered from three separate companies (Italian Chinese, Greek) one was pickup next door. I was assured this was not unusual in their household.
3. Studies on Take & Bake pizza show it is the sole food item only 60% of the time. Generally complemented with prepared food from other outlets, who can we find out what and from where?
Statistical analyst can track each of the sales, but do we get a clear picture of the family meal. We are in search of examples, stories, or case studies on new “defined” household units and what they eat and when. Please submit your example to Stevejohnon77@msn.com Is Grocerant food the food that binds the family?

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