U.S. consumers are eating at home more, but often what they are eating comes from a restaurant, drive-thru or other foodservice operation
By NACS Online
Consumers are increasingly eating at home, with more than 80% of all meals consumed at home in 2017, according to a report from research organization The NPD Group. However, busy consumers often rely on foodservice for a shortcut to at-home meal preparation.
Although foodservice spending has been increasing—up 2% in May compared to 2017—foodservice visits were flat in that same period compared to year ago. Actual restaurant visits, whether onsite, picked up or ordered and delivered, reveal more about foodservice growth than spending does, said NPD, adding that foodservice spending is up because the cost of a restaurant meal is increasing faster than the cost of meal prepared at home.
NPD found that nearly half of the dinners purchased from a restaurant are consumed at home, and a growing number of in-home meals are a combination of prepared foods and ready-to-eat items from a foodservice provider.
Analysts predict that this type of “blended meal” will continue to grow in popularity over the next five years as consumers rely more on the modern conveniences of grocery delivery, meal kits, “grocerants” (supermarkets that offer restaurant-quality foods), online ordering and technology-enabled kitchen appliances and tools.