Restaurateurs the world is a little brighter after the NPD Group reported that “use of stove” is still flat and even more exciting microwave cooking is not growing either. Broad Street Licensing Group (BSLG) reported that in a recent news letter that “There has been a gradual increase in per-capita meals prepared & consumed at home (including partially pre-prepared foods): 877 in 2010 vs. 861 in 2007 (though the trend began in 2003).”
BSLG continued “This is far below the 1980s when the peak was 914 (1986). The nadir was 817 in 2002. More significant are the changes in how food is prepared: in the 80s, 72% of main dinner dishes were homemade; today only 59% are. The shift has been to prepared foods or meals that can be “assembled.”
NPD predicts ready-to-eat meals prepared outside of, but eaten at-home, along with fresh and frozen foods will grow in the next ten years. That convenience trumps everything is underscored by the decline in the number of items per meal from 4.44 in the 1980s to 3.5 in 2010.
Microwave usage rose between 985-1994 (from 10.5% of main meals to 20.4%), but remained between 19%-20% through 2008 when it began to grow slightly (currently it stands at 22%). How are Americans cooking their meals, then? They are purchasing ready-to-eat take-home foods in restaurants and food stores, along with the rise of grilling and slow-cookers. Use of grills grew by 42% between 1998-2008, but still only accounted for 3% of main meals by 2009). Slow cookers grew 36% from 1998-2008 (but still only cooked 1% of main meals by 2009).” Thank you too both BSLG and NPD.
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