Inflation and other rising costs have consumers looking to cut expenses, especially eating more dinners at home. Out-of-necessity dinners at home peaked during the pandemic but have since normalized but are still above the pre-pandemic level, according to The NPD Group, and the market analyst forecasts that in-home dinners will remain at a heightened level through 2024.

However, consumers will still look for convenience, which maintains a desire for prepared meals. That will continue to grow through 2024. Restaurant meals eaten at home are also forecast to grow. The pandemic escalated the pairing of foodservice and retail prepared foods with in-home prepared dishes to create blended meals. This behavior will continue through the near future, reports NPD.

“More dinner meals at home are here to stay. The shifting population life stages and economic situation will create greater reliance on dinner at home,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Consumers across all ages will look for breaks from routine, like making the same dishes out of habit. Food manufacturers and retailers can help consumers with dinner prep fatigue with convenient new foods and dishes that fit various cooking skill sets and needs. Value will also be top-of-mind with consumers during this time of high inflation.”