Restaurant-supper visits have been steadily declining since 2006, while supper meals eaten in home have steadily increased, according to The NPD Group, a leading global information company.
Per-capita annual supper meals eaten in home increased from 235 in 2006 to 250 in 2012, according to NPD’s National Eating Trends®. Conversely, per-capita supper meals eaten away from home declined from 67 in 2006 to 61 in 2012, according to NPD’s CREST®.
The restaurant-supper occasion has lost more than 650 million consumer visits since 2006, but will gain about 795 million visits over the next decade, NPD predicts. NPD’s recently released “A Look into the Future of Foodservice” report forecasts a 4% growth in restaurant-supper visits through 2022.
While multiple factors contributed to the weakened state of the supper occasion, one of the largest is the impact that the economy has had on younger adult consumers, ages 18-49. Younger adults have historically been the heaviest users of restaurants for supper, while older consumers have been less-frequent users. NPD reports a shift of supper-traffic dependence to older consumers, and this increase is the primary contributor to the growth forecast in supper traffic over the next 10 years.
“Consumers have become even more accustomed to eating supper at home,” says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant-industry analyst at NPD, adding, “Prepared foods purchased at grocery stores provide an easy and generally less-expensive alternative to restaurants.”
Is this an opportunity for personal chefs to provide palate-specific alternatives to grocery-store meals, particularly to younger people and families?