Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What is a Family Meal Today?

At 5 PM the family is hungry, waiting, so What’s for Dinner? Food retailers from every segment find themselves in a quagmire trying to understand just what is a family meal?  Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® 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 all seem to answer or categorize only what product consumers are eating, when they are eating.  However no one answered the age old question.  What is a family meal?

Steven Johnson, Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ identified what he called a “new family meal paradigm”.   Here are three examples: 

1.      Today, mix and match meal components drive meal planning. Family dinner occasions with meal components from McDonalds & Taco Bell for the kids, 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 just not the same food.

2.      In urban centers pick up and delivery are an ‘endless mainstay’ During a visit to NYC after a client meeting we went to a business associates home ordered food-in.  His wife, myself and my client each ordered from three separate companies (Italian Chinese, Greek) one was pickup next door.  I was assured this was not unusual in their household this is a family dinner again.

3.      Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food are driving new dinner occasion satisfaction studies.  On such studies on Take & Bake pizza show it is a single food item only 60% of the time, complemented with prepared food from other outlets 40% of the time. This is a family meal.  What else should Take & Bake pizza companies be offering?

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 Are Grocerant prepared food components the food that binds the family? Let us know.

Visit:  of Tacoma, WA the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation, and individualization contact us via Call 1-253-759-7869 or Visit:

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