Busy is a social status, and it’s changing how we prepare tonight’s tea
Busy means many things to many people, however in reality, it’s that we’re struggling with juggling work between the hours of 9am to 5pm, hardly making time for friends at the weekend and barely having a chance to think about, never mind prepare a meal for the family during the week.
In fact, Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO brands, has reported that a whopping 87% of 16 – 34-year olds (Mintel 2016) are no longer cooking from scratch, nor eating fully prepared ready meals, but are component cooking.
At-home cooks are receiving a helping hand from ready prepared vegetables that may only need a quick ping in the microwave, or a sauce that simply needs poured over a pre-seasoned, fresh steak. This demand has spawned a new market for total meal solutions.
IGD Retail Analysis also reports that shoppers are spending more on their convenience baskets and popping in to top up shop more frequently than previously.
Meanwhile, half of all shoppers admit they decide what’s for dinner within two hours or less of a mealtime, seeking out convenience (74%), inspiration (42%) value (35%) and a cooking time of 30 minutes or less. (Neilsen – state of the nation 2015/HIM! Evening meal solutions 2015, Mintel 2015)
This insight has allowed for Henderson Group to create Meal Inspirations for shoppers at SPAR stores and EUROSPAR supermarkets, ensuring those who are short on time can still manage to cook a fresh, locally sourced meal, which is enough for the whole family.
The initiative brings together local food suppliers, farmers and growers, with SPAR own brand lines including enjoy local and The Kitchen, alongside collaborative work from the experts at Henderson Wholesale’s Fresh Team and Ulster University’s FACT (Food and Consumer Testing) Suite.
Neal Kelly, Fresh Foods Director at Henderson Wholesale commented; “Meal Inspirations takes the work we have been progressing over the past few years, and brings it all together in a stylish, helpful and tasty package for our shoppers.
“We launched the 144-product range enjoy local in 2015 and followed up with our accessible prepared meal range, The Kitchen in 2016. Since launch, we have sold over £40m worth of these products, so we can clearly see how consumer shopping patterns for tonight’s tea is changing under time poor circumstances.
“Meal Inspirations is simplifying the process of choosing an efficient and enjoyable dinner for one, a couple or the whole family, creating a series of possible components that go perfectly together on the plate.”
Throughout the enjoy local, The Kitchen and other local food supplier ranges, Henderson Wholesale works with over 150companies, all growing and producing on the island of Ireland ranging from K&G McAtamney Butchers to Mash Direct, and Willowbrook Farm to Big Pot Co.
Paddy Doody, Sales & Marketing Director at Henderson Wholesale added; “This isn’t just about creating a streamlined process for our shoppers, but also about creating quality products with the help of Ulster University and Dr Amy Burns’ team.
“We have had a majority of the products included in Meal Inspirations taste tested by an experienced panel in the FACT Suite, with 98% saying they would buy certain products.
“We are rolling this initiative out across all 281 SPAR stores and 57 EUROSPAR supermarkets in Northern Ireland in the hope that more shoppers will discover our fantastic local ranges, and fresh, quality food is more accessible to many shoppers.”