Growing Number of Home Meals are a Mix of Prepared Dishes and Ready-to-Eat

Four out of five meals are now prepared at home, according to a recent study from The NPD Group, an increase from a decade ago.

Foodservice spending increased 2 percent in the year ending May 2018, but visits to restaurants and other foodservice businesses were flat. NPD reported the rise in foodservice spending was primarily because the cost of a restaurant meal is increasing faster than that of a meal prepared at home.

Although the number of people dining out has stayed flat, consumers are turning to foodservice to provide many of those home meals. Nearly half of dinners purchased from restaurants are now eaten at home and a growing number of in-home meals are a mix of prepared dishes and ready-to-eat items purchased from a foodservice establishment, NPD says.

“Due to a changing workforce, the ease of online shopping, and the boom in streaming entertainment, there are fewer reasons than ever to leave the house,” NPD Food Industry Advisor David Portalatin says. “Even with consumers eating more of their meals at home, there are opportunities for both food companies and foodservice operators. It’s not a matter of where consumers are eating but rather what they’re eating.”