Despite some consumers pointing to planning to eat out less often to save money during these inflationary times, 80% of consumers have ordered from or eaten at a restaurant in the past few weeks. More than half, 54%, have ordered restaurant takeout and 49% have dined in. Restaurant engagement is far higher among households in their prime child-rearing years: Older Millennials and Gen X, shoppers ages 32 to 56.
“During the early years of the pandemic, we talked a lot about the very different pressures on time. Generally speaking, consumers commuted less plus weekend and evening activities were cancelled. However, parents were juggling work and home schooling,” noted Jonna Parker, Team Lead Fresh at IRI. “Overall, those early pandemic months saw lower consumer mobility and more time in the kitchen. As life’s hecticness has resumed, the eternal battle between time/convenience, healthfulness and money has intensified in the past year. This has resulted in very complex consumption and shopping patterns. We see the same household take to scratch cooking one day and value-added or deli solutions the next. We see ultra-premium and pure value items in the same basket. We see consumers switch seamlessly between quick frozen meal solutions or fresh meal kits and spending hours on cooking meat on the smoker. There is no one-size-fits-all way to handle inflationary pressures in 2022.”