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Home: Where the Heart Is for Dinnertime

CHICAGO -- Eight out of 10 U.S. households eat dinner at home, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. In addition, the researcher found that 47 percent of consumers eat dinner with everyone in their household every night of the week.

According to NPD's in-depth study on dinnertime consumption habits entitled "Dinnertime MealScape Study," dinner is most often consumed in the kitchen, followed by the dining room and then family/living room. Approximately 40 percent of individuals are watching a television show or video while eating. Although about half of households reported eating dinner together, shift eating is somewhat sizeable, with more than one in three consumers indicating they ate at a different time from other household members.

NPD's Dinnertime MealScape Study reports dinner is described as a "full or complete meal" by 68 percent of consumers; 29 percent of consumers feel dinner represented more of a "small or mini meal" and 2 percent viewed it as a snack.

"We found through our research that consumers derive the most enjoyment from preparing meals at home for their families," said Dori Hickey, director of product management at NPD. "When we assessed consumer satisfaction with their dinnertime food and beverage selections, we found that overall satisfaction was higher among consumers who made dinner at home compared to those who ate out or brought food in. It's really about bringing the family together and nurturing the ones we love by preparing and sharing a meal."
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