Why 2018 will be very good for food retailers

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Why 2018 will be very good for food retailers

By Gina Acosta - 01/05/2018

The year 2018 may turn out to offer a key opportunity for food retailers, as Americans say they plan to cook more meals at home this year.

According to a new survey conducted on behalf of online grocer Peapod by ORC International, 73% of adults currently make dinner at home at least four nights a week and nearly one third (31%) are planning to cook dinner at home more often in the New Year.

Millennials are pushing that trend even further as 50% have intentions of making dinner at home more frequently in 2018. Teens, part of the generation dubbed Post-Millennials or Generation Z, look to be following in those foodie footsteps as four in five (79%) say they want their parents to cook more in 2018.

What's Driving the Trend?

Fueling the momentum to cook more at home are the desire to save money (72%) and eat healthier (52%). These were also the top factors in 2017, proving Americans see the financial value in shopping for groceries and planning ahead for meals as well as selecting ingredients tailored to their nutritional preferences.  An interesting shift for 2018 is that more Americans report cooking at home helps them spend quality time together as a family (43%); that's up 11 percentage points from last year. This is especially true for parents as 60% report cooking to spend quality time together. When parents are searching for dinner ideas, finding a meal the whole family will like/agree upon ranks second in importance (85%), surpassed only by "tastes good" (94%).

Getting Kids Involved

Perhaps most surprisingly, kids are big supporters of more home-cooked meals. Four in five teenagers surveyed (79%) want their parents to cook more at home in 2018, and over half of teens want to help their parents with the cooking process more often. Teens report having fun while cooking (59%) and they also see meal time as a way to spend time together as a family (55%). Along with family bonding, getting kids involved with cooking teaches them important skills and grows an appreciation for healthy food and nutrition; one in three teens (32%) who want to help their parents with cooking more express a desire to help their family eat healthier meals.

Meal Planning Made Easier

When asked what would make it easier to cook at home, Americans report the most valued shortcuts as ready to serve or cook mixes (41%), an example of which would be meal kits, followed closely by pre-chopped produce (38%). Pre-measured ingredients (34%) and grocery delivery (25%) are also perceived as adding value. Parents are significantly more inclined than non-parents to value ready to serve or cook mixes (49% vs. 38%, respectively), pre-measured ingredients (43% vs. 30%), and grocery delivery (30% vs. 23%). With respect to grocery delivery, Millennials are over twice as likely as Boomers to perceive this shortcut as valuable to them.

ORC International conducted an online survey among 1,024 adults comprising 512 men and 512 women 18 years of age and older on Nov. 27-29, 2017. The results reported for parents are based on parents or guardians of children under the age of 18 living in their home. An online survey of 508 teens ages 13-17 was conducted Nov. 28- Dec. 3, 2017.

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