Much ink already has been spilled over the speeding up of lifestyles worldwide, and food manufacturers have taken notice. A 54% increase in global new product launches touting on-the-go claims occurred from September 2010 to August 2011 and September 2015 to August 2016.
Particularly around the breakfast eating occasion, consumers are looking for speed and portability. Forty-two per cent of Chines adults aged 20 to 49 reported wanting more ready-to-go breakfast items, along with 30% of Canadian adults.
Interestingly enough, consumers still associate time spent on preparing something proportional to its quality, which has led to a 214% increase in “slow” claims over the same September 2010 to August 2011 and September 2015 to August 2016 period. These claims include slow-cooked or slow-roasted food items, or items promising slow-release energy.
In the realm of home-cooking, there is another interesting time-related paradox. People want to cook in their own kitchens — they just want it to be easier. Almost half of U.S. Hispanic consumers said planning and preparing healthy meals is currently too time-consuming. In Brazil, 43% of adults consider ease of preparation when meal planning, 34% want meals that are quick to prepare, and 18% want meals that leave little cleanup afterward.
Home meal prep subscription services such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh have seen immense growth in the past several years, supplying customers with all the ingredients necessary to cook a gourmet meal at home. Grocery chains have begun offering their own spin on take-home meal kits. The balance seems to be reducing as much time as possible while still providing all the benefits of a carefully crafted meal.