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Prepared Foods Sales Outpace Restaurant Visits

Home meal replacement items and prepared foods at supermarkets and other retail outlets will continue taking away from restaurant visits, according to a new report by The NPD Group.

The foodservice forecast through 2022 indicates these prepared food purchases for at-home consumption will increase by 10 percent over the next decade, compared to a 4 percent increase forecasted for in-store dining traffic. Seniors more than 65 years old will drive these purchases, but increasing numbers of thirtysomethings will seek to-go foods, NPD said.

 Adults 35 years and older are more likely than 18- to 34-year-olds to buy prepared foods from stores, while seniors prefer lunch-to-go from these retailers. Those in the 18- to 24-year-old age group were found to be the most prominent purchasers of to-go afternoon and evening snacks.

The home meal replacement entrees purchased most frequently from retail outlets include chicken, pizza, macaroni and cheese and sandwiches. In terms of prepared foods purchased, younger adults are more likely than those older to purchase pizza, hot dogs and burgers to eat at home, while consumers aged 50-plus are interested in chicken, NPD found.