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The NPD Group is out with a new report saying that “nearly 3 out of 4 U.S. households typically plan at least some dinners in advance and half plan breakfast and lunch meals,” meaning that retailers are now dealing with more tightly focused consumer attitudes than in recent years.

“The frequency of meal planning is an indication that many purchase decisions are made prior to grocery shopping,” said Ann Hanson, executive director of product development at NPD and author of the report. “Retailers and manufacturers who can help consumers address meal planning challenges have the potential to become ingrained in the family meal planning and shopping cycle.”  

Among the specific findings in the report:

• “Of the 71 percent of households that plan at least some dinners in advance, 24 percent planned nearly all dinners in advance.”

• “Of the 53 percent of households that plan at least some lunches in advance, 13 percent planned nearly all lunches in advance.”

• “Fifty-one percent of households planned at least some breakfast meals in advance, and 26 percent planned nearly all breakfasts in advance.”

• “The most common challenges for...meal preparers are getting new ideas for main meals, finding meals that are quick to make, and staying within a budget. One way for meal preparers to address these challenges and find new ideas is through recipes. Thirty-four percent of households indicate they use recipes weekly and 69 percent said they use recipes at least monthly.”

• “The top reason for making an impulse purchase was because the item was on sale.”
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