The benefits of enjoying meals together are well documented, with some research even pointing to communal meals being as important as sleep and exercise when it comes to maintaining healthy overall well-being.1
Children who enjoy regular family meals are linked to having higher grades and stronger self-esteem, and are less likely to suffer from depression.2 The mental wellness benefits don’t end with children, however. The American Heart Association found that 91% of parents notice less stress when their family shares meals together3, while a Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior study found that shared meals may help strengthen family connectedness, communication and problem-solving abilities for all members.4
Studies dating back to 1996 point to a steadily decreasing trend in the average number of meals that families eat together each week.5 And while the frequency of family meals saw a slight increase during the pandemic, families have returned to pre-pandemic dining behaviors.
Eating Together Doesn’t Need to Be a Challenge
As consumers of today continue to face cooking fatigue with added time and cost constraints, orchestrating family meals can be a burden. Fresh prepared meal offerings at retail offer a solution by taking on the heavy lifting of meal planning and preparation so that reasonably priced, nourishing and delicious dishes can be enjoyed together.
With the growing fresh prepared meal department, retailers have the opportunity to connect shoppers with meal solutions to overcome the obstacles that are putting family meals out of reach. FreshRealm, a leading provider of fresh meals for retailers nationwide, is helping grocers build robust fresh meal destinations with a variety of fresh meal offerings that deliver on value and taste.
Ready to learn more? Visit FreshRealm.com for a full look at the company’s fresh ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat meal solutions that meet evolving consumer needs and lifestyles.
1 FMI, August 2022
2 FMI Family Meals Movement
3 The American Heart Association, October 2022
4 Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, January 2020
5 The Wall Street Journal, October 2022