Restaurant At-home: Innovating With the Culinary Experience

September 2021

More than one year into the pandemic, we revisit the topic of increased home-cooking, restaurant avoidance and the way that home working moves the lunch occassion from restaurants, to the home. Learn more about the roles of Home Delivery, Ready Meals and Meal Kits to satisfy convenience seekers and why Health and Wellness is a key premiumisation tool in spite of financial struggles among many consumers.

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Key Findings

Work from home is a permanent shift of lunch meals to the home

The data are clear that work from home is a lasting trend, which companies need to position themselves in relation to. For foods, this means that more lunches are eaten at home. Consumers will have less need for lunch restaurants and more need for ready meals, time-saving cooking solutions, home delivery of meals and retail food for cooking.

The pandemic has given rise to “super-consumers” of ready meals

Growth in consumption in ready meals has grown more than frequency of cooking and baking. Most notable is the growth among consumers who heat or prepare ready meals “almost every day”. They are served by ready meal subscription services designed to help individuals reach their health and fitness goals.

Home cooking to remain higher than before the start of the pandemic, but consumers seek convenient, time-saving solutions

Cooking set to remain higher than before the pandemic and with that, a part of the shift from foodservice to retail is set to remain permanently. However, many consumers are looking for more comfort, also with regard to food. Meal kits, partially prepared side dishes and other time-saving packaged food solutions are competing for this opportunity.

Access to affordable food grows in importance

The majority of consumers have trouble making ends meet and affordable food is set to grow in importance as a result. This sets the stage for continued growth for discounter chains such as Lidl and Aldi, as was also the case in the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

Consumers set to increase spending on health and wellness - including healthy food

Health and wellness spending is at the top of the list of what consumers plan to increase their spending on over the next 12 months, even as the majority of respondents aim to reduce overall spending. Affordable food will be important, yet this primacy of a healthy diet presents continued premiumisation opportunities.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Work From Home Will Keep Lunch at Home

August 2020: initial understanding of the implications of work from home
Workplace attendance increasing slowly far below pre-COVID-19 levels
What new offers compete for the lunch occasion for home workers?
Ready meals gain more than cooking and baking as foodservice is limited
Finnish 3-course ready meals offer a Michelin experience under EUR15

Are the Time Savings Spent Cooking and Eating?

Interest in cooking set to remain higher than before COVID-19
No time to cook is no longer an excuse!
Immediate last mile delivery lowers the bar for grocery shopping
Bonduelle invests in meal delivery platform to reach convenience seekers

Economy Vs Premium: Where are Consumers Moving?

Employment rate not yet back to pre-pandemic levels
Exercise and health and wellness as a part of the restaurant-at-home
Some consumers health driven, others comfort seekers
Consumers in tourism-dependent economies seek inexpensive food
Spending plans by theme differ little across segmentations

More New Occasions for Food During the Pandemic

Industry professionals increasingly positive about event attendance
Unchanged weekday eating habits; the weekend is the time for food
South Korean drinking meal: a convenient morning snack or breakfast

Conclusion

Conclusion

Appendix

Overview of Lifestyles survey
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