In the 1980s and ’90s, when Americans were struggling to get dinner on the table after work and shuttling kids between activities, microwaves, frozen dinners and fast-food restaurants were mainstays. Unlike recent generations, consumers today are shifting toward eating more dinners at home, including those purchased at restaurants, according to The NPD Group’s most recent National Eating Trends Report. “People want to eat at home, [but they] still need convenience. [They’re] not able to prepare scratch meals,” said David Portalatin, NPD’s food consumption industry analyst.
As a result, the trend toward incorporating foodservice items from restaurants or retail into a “blended” in-home dinner is on the rise, NPD found. In the year ended in February 2017, 18 percent of in-home meals included at least one ready-to-eat item from foodservice, up from 15.5 percent in 2015. “It’s clearly a generational thing,” said Portalatin, who cited adults under age 40, which includes Millennials and Gen Z, as the primary consumers of the trend. – Source: Restaurant hospitality