HCC reveals single diners are on the rise

HCC reveals single diners are on the rise

More than two in five people are eating alone, according to the latest consumer trends information by Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC).

HCC research has showed that more and more people are eating alone.

HCC research has showed that more and more people are eating alone.

It has been revealed that more people are choosing to eat alone as consumers prefer less involvement with the basic meal-making processes due to increasing time constraints.

The consumer trends information also revealed that single diners have replaced couples as the leading category and now make up 42% of meals eaten, with two people dining on 36%, three people on 11% and four people – the average family – at just 11% also, with just one meal in ten.

“Kanter Worldpanel 2015 research figures show we are moving year-by-year from a high to low involvement with our food,” explained Sue Franklin, HCC UK market development executive.

“Average meal preparation times are sitting at around 32 minutes; in 1990, that was 45 minutes and in 1980 it was a full hour. A prime example of this consumer change is with the home-made sausage roll. Back in 1984, 61% would prepare pastry and mixture from scratch; a mere 6% of us are doing this 30 years on.”

“Quick, speedy food is demanded to fit in with the hustle and bustle of everyday living. People also want more from their food – but they want it now. They will pay considerably more for ready-made solutions, 5% more for health reasons and 25% more for perceived taste,” continued Franklin.

“This is putting pressure on primary, premium products like PGI Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef. There are plenty of options for using both in high end and quick turnaround cooking but it does involve some investment in basic skills and knowledge of suitable cuts and both are also incrementally disappearing.

“It’s something that is reflected in statistics for the near-one-in-four respondees who say they have ‘a night off from cooking’ or ‘couldn’t be bothered to cook’.” Franklin concluded.

The changing face of retail is also highlighted in shopper trade, with discounters gaining 12% and online retailers 8% while supermarket stores lost 3% and the high street 1%.

However, HCC says butchers still hold a very important place in shopping choices, having more consumers than the discounters and providing advice to their customers about choosing and cooking prime meat cuts.

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