Consumers continue to eat more meals at home
Foodservice spending was up 3 percent in the year ending April 2015, but the increase did not equate to more foodservice visits, which were flat in the period, stated The NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based information company. The foodservice industry remains challenged to get people out of their homes to eat versus eating in home. Four out of five meals are prepared and consumed at home, and in-home meals have been on the rise for several years, according to NPD’s ongoing food consumption market research.
Foodservice spending is up due to price increases such as rising food and operation costs. A restaurant meal historically costs three times more than an in-home meal, NPD said. In 2014, the average cost of a restaurant meal per person was $6.96; the estimated per-person average cost for an in-home prepared meal was $2.31. The share of consumer dollars spent on food at home compared to food away from home has been close to 50/50 for several years. The relationship between inflation for food at home and food away from home tends to provide a short-term benefit to one side of the food space or the other, and it is currently giving foodservice a very slight advantage.