Kitchen Dilemma: New Report Shows U.S. Consumers in a Stew Over Inspiration for Meal Solutions

The majority of America’s consumers routinely eat meals cooked at home from scratch, yet 10 percent of these consumers very often struggle to find ideas for what to cook.

Bellevue, WA, October 20, 2015

Finding an answer to “what’s for dinner?” can be a real challenge for many of America’s households. More than one-third of consumers (38 percent) frequently struggle for ideas of what to make at mealtimes, according to The Hartman Group’s Culture of Food: New Appetites, New Routines 2015 report. Of these consumers, 10 percent “very often” and 28 percent “frequently” are in a quandary over what to prepare for their households. Compared to older generations, Millennials regularly come up short on ideas for meals to make at home during the week.

Struggling for ideas of what to make for meals at home

“Consumers are trading out traditional food routines for new ones that reflect the desires and challenges of expanded variety in a complex food landscape,” says Laurie Demeritt, The Hartman Group’s CEO. “Cooking for a family must accommodate everyone’s schedules and food preferences ranging from avoidances to culinary variety and healthfulness.”

Fundamental shifts in technology, travel and trade have placed food back at the center of everyday life and popular culture, and this means that consumers are looking for food inspiration and cooking tips to simplify or improve their investment of time, effort and money. What are the primary roadblocks to inspiration?

“Overall, consumers say they lack time to plan and skills to cook,” says Demeritt. “Many consumers cite a lack of interest or energy to think about what to eat, while fewer consumers, about 15 percent, say they have too many choices when trying to decide what to eat.”

The Hartman Group’s Culture of Food 2015 report is a framework for understanding how consumers define premium quality and make decisions about premium products, brands and experiences. The report is a deep dive into America’s diverse and dynamic food and beverage culture as viewed through the lens of the consumer. It explores the messy and yet-to-be articulated opportunity spaces in our food and beverage culture that are fertile hunting grounds for innovation in products, services and menus.

Please contact The Hartman Group for high-res image of the chart. 

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