Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Home Restaurants Come of Age: America’s Eating-In While Eating-Out

America Eating-In While Eating-Out

Cooking a family meal from scratch that everyone will eat continues to be an obstacle for many households today according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.  While 80% of meals are prepared at home that does not mean they are cooked from scratch.

Lacking the skill-set required to cook from scratch combined with ever increasing divergent family meal dynamic including scheduling time, flavor preference, and  calorie/carbohydrates limits, the effort to meet everyone requirements is simply put “too much work according” to Foodservice Solutions® Steven Johnson.

It is clear to see how the increased rate of consumer adaption of the Grocerant Niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is changing the dynamics with the retail food space.  While the cooking from scratch is a lot of work consumers like eating at home.  However the meals and meal components are not all prepared at home or from scratch. In fact King Retail Solutions found that in the past 12 months “62 percent of consumers bought fresh prepared meals from a non-restaurant”.

NPD 80% of meals prepared at home

Even Harry Balzer, NPD chief industry analyst recently stated recently that “About 80% of meals were prepared at home in November 2013, about the same as 2012, NPD data show. The percentage of meals prepared at home has risen steadily from 77.4% in 2008 at the beginning of the recession. "The move back home for our meals looks to be over," says Harry Balzer, "I'm sure restaurants are happy to hear this."

Hudson Riehle the National Restaurant Associations SVP of Research & Knowledge Group stated a new study found that “75 percent of consumer say going to a restaurant with family/ friends is a better use of time than cooking and cleaning up. Combine that with his comments on flavor when Riehle stated “ 7 in 10 consumers say their favorite restaurant foods provide flavors which can’t be easily be duplicated at home.”

Lingering Concerns 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome

However Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ warns that “restaurants should not expect to see the same customers returning to the restaurant space as those that flooded the doors pre 2008.”  Restaurants need to understand the family dynamic has changed, driven in large part by the lingering recession and technology.  Specifically, as Foodservice Solutions found the “65 Inch HDTV Syndrome”.

The undercurrent of an evolving food retail consumer is emerging. Consumer wants restaurant quality food, flavor, meal components that can be mix and matched, then bundled into a cohesive family meal and served / eaten at home. They are driven by growing numbers of multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and recession weary families.

Restaurants Can find the Undercurrents of Success

The opportunity for restaurants selling meal components has a huge up-side. NPD’s Balzer cautioned when he noted that “Many people experienced a drop in income during the recession, and people lower their food costs by using restaurants less, because restaurant meals cost three times more than meals made at home”.  Given that understanding the restaurant sector will have to leverage Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of Food Marketing if they expect to compete successfully with Grocery store deli’s, Chain Drug stores the ilk of Walgreens, Convenience stores the ilk of Sheetz, Wawa and Rutter’s.

Riehle also noted that in a recent survey 92% of consumers like going to restaurants.  It’s up to individual restaurants, chain restaurants if they want to sell consumer Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meal components. Consumers like restaurants as much as they like 65 inch HDTV’s and NCAA basketball tournaments, baseball, soccer, and football.  I think consumer deserve to Eat-In while Eating-Out.

Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  if you are interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization or you can learn more at Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

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