Americans Eschew Dining Out for Eating In

13 May 2002

Despite recent signs of an economic upturn, Americans are increasingly opting to eat at home rather than dine out, according to ACNielsen’s new US Consumer Pre*View research.

Surveying 21,000 households in March and April, the report found that 36% are planning to cut back on dining out, up from 27% in the December/January study. In the last six months, this trend has been most evident in younger (18–34) households.

“It’s noteworthy that even though the economy has improved since our first survey, more people are planning to scale back on eating out,” commented Nick Sorvillo, senior vp of ACNielsen Homescan. “Now a significant number of the people who are most likely to dine out, those who are doing well, are saying they, too, plan to cut back on restaurant dinners.

“Now is the time for consumer packaged goods marketers to show consumers what they have to offer in the way of foods that are easy to prepare at home and meet or exceed the quality standards consumers expect from restaurants.”

Other findings include:

• Fewer people (21%, compared with over 33% three months before) said they were more likely to buy products made in the US than they were a year ago.

• African-American consumers were more likely than their white counterparts to say both that they had been eating more healthily in the last six months (31% vs 25%) and that they intended to do so in the next six months (81% vs. 65%).

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff