To Combat Cost, Consumers Continue to Eat at Home Instead of Dining Out

Research from newly-merged IRI and The NPD Group shows that consumers are continuing to opt for at-home meals and foodservice options instead of dining at restaurants.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Woman grocery shopping

As inflation continues to impact shoppers, more consumers are bargain hunting when grocery shopping, eating more meals at home and cutting back on restaurant visits, according to research from IRI and The NPD Group.

In an effort to save money, at-home food (8.7% sales growth YoY) are outpacing away-from-home (6% sales growth YoY) according to the new research. The groups added that consumers are bargain hunting, preferring more mainstream and value brands over premium brands, choosing private label foods in select categories and occasionally buying premium products as affordable luxuries.

“Even with the impact of elevated grocery prices, dining out is still much more expensive than eating at home,” said David Portalatin, Senior Vice President and Industry Advisor for Food and Foodservice for The NPD Group. “As we head into 2023, restaurant recovery will be slow and steady, as traffic begins to return to pre-pandemic levels. Current demand suggests that culinary trends are shifting to incorporate more bold flavors inspired by global and regional influences.”

IRI and NPD found that foodservice traffic was down 3% in July, signaling more at-home meals. The research shows that away-from-home eating costs an average of 3.4 times more than in-home cooking sourced from the grocery store.

“With inflation hitting 8.5% in July, it’s no surprise that consumers are trading down to lower-priced options and opting for more value, especially when dining out,” said Dr. Krishnakumar (KK) Davey, President of CPG and Retail Thought Leadership for IRI and NPD. “While the pandemic and recent inflationary pressures shifted demand, restaurants and foodservice outlets offering value, convenience and at-home indulgence are top of mind for consumers and will continue to grow.”

Davey spoke at the recent Store Brands Industry Forum on Sustainability. The event can be viewed on-demand here.