K+BB - October 2008 - (Page 26)

Consumer Home Cooking More and more Americans are dining in With the economy softening and food prices rising, dining out is fast becoming a luxury to many Americans. “Despite busier-than-ever lives at work and at home, one convenience many Americans are eliminating compared to a year ago is going out to eat at restaurants and ordering take out,” said Brenda Bryan, executive director of the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI), an industry association that tracks kitchen trends, including remodeling and consumer activities. To get a feel for whether hard economic times are directly impacting personal eating habits, a recent RICKI survey asked more than 9,200 adults in the U.S. about the frequency with which they eat in compared to a year ago. Four out of 10 respondents (43 percent) said they dine at home more often now than they did 12 months ago, while only 11 percent reported a decrease in frequency (see chart below). “Although convenience is still king for consumers, many people are cutting back on overall household expenditures due to the downturn in the economy, and a sizable minority are foregoing some less essential conveniences such as commercially prepared meals,” noted Bryan. “While restaurant meals have become a major part of the American diet, it’s still considered a luxury to some people and an easy way to save money.” Q: Which of the following statements best describes your thinking about how often you eat at home compared to eating at restaurants (including take-out)? I’m eating at home LESS than I was 12 months ago I’m eating at home about the SAME as I was 12 months ago According to the RICKI survey, those consumers more likely to stay home for meals include parents, people under the age of 45, those living in multifamily dwellings and those with an annual household income of less than $100,000. “Even Gen Xers and Millennials—traditionally more likely than average to go out to eat—are eating at home more often now,” said Bryan. By contrast, those in more established households, such as older people who live in single-family homes and have household incomes of $100,000 or more, answered that their dining habits have remained the same in the past year. RESTAURANT WOES Interestingly enough, the results of the RICKI survey mirror trends reported by the National Restaurant Association, the largest business association for the restaurant industry. Each month, the organization publishes the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), a composite index that tracks the U.S. restaurant industry and factors in a variety of indicators, including sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. The source of the RPI is the association’s monthly Industry Tracking Survey, which is conducted among restaurant operators nationwide. This past July, the index was 98.3, falling for the ninth straight month below 100. A value under 100 represents “a period of contraction for key industry indicators,” said Hudson Riehle, senior VP of research and information for the association. “Restaurant operators reported negative same-store sales for the seventh time in the last nine months, with customer traffic levels also remaining below year-ago levels.” 11% 46% 43% SINGLED OUT There is, however, one bright spot for those in the restaurant business. “According to our survey, only one demographic group spikes for eating at restaurants more often now than a year ago—singles,” said Bryan. “While expense and convenience play a significant role in dining decisions for most population segments, the dining experience is probably less about food and more about socializing for singles.” Whatever the reason, kitchen designers may want to keep in mind RICKI’s findings when undertaking their next project. With more people staying in, the heart of the home is sure to become a lot busier. s —Erin Gallagher is the director of member services for RICKI. The results reported above are part of a larger study, Remodelers 360, which was conducted online this past April among American consumers between the ages of 18 and 64. For more information on the study and RICKI, visit www.kitchenintelligence.org. I’m eating at home MORE than I was 12 months ago 26 + K BB October 2008 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kitchenintelligence.org http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of K+BB - October 2008

K+BB - October 2008
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Feedback
Dates
Digits
Focus
Consumer
Trends
Products
Options
Profile
Design
Paradise Found
Graded on a Curve
Green
Access
Additions
Practice
Education
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

K+BB - October 2008

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