Consumers keep cutting meal preparation times

Consumer involvement with basic meal-making processes is becoming less and less, with an increasing percentage of the population wanting speedy food solutions to fit in with the pressures of everyday living.

That’s the core conclusion reached by Meat Promotion Wales (HCC – Hybu Cig Cymru) based on the organisation’s latest consumer trends information.

“Single diners have replaced couples as the leading category and now make up 42% of meals eaten,” said HCC. “This compares with two people dining together accounting for 36% of meals, three people on 11%, with the typical nuclear family of four also on 11%.”

In addition, average meal preparation times continue to fall, declining from an hour in 1980 to around 32 minutes today.

“Quick, speedy food is demanded to fit in with the hustle and bustle of everyday living,” said HCC’s UK market development executive, Sue Franklin, adding that people want more from their food, and they want it now.

“They will pay considerably more for ready-made solutions, however; 5% more for health reasons and 25% more for perceived taste.”

All of which is “putting pressure on primary, premium meat products” according to HCC, which is currently devising new, convenient and easy-to-prepare recipes which can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

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