Family dinners have traditionally been considered a central aspect of family life. However, in recent years, studies have suggested that the frequency of family dinners has declined, and the reasons for this trend are not well understood. A food manufacturer interested in promoting the importance of family dinners approached us to conduct an exploratory research study to understand the family dinner experience.
The primary objective of the study was to gain insight into the factors that influence the family dinner experience, including the frequency, meal preparation, and communication patterns during dinner.
We conducted one on one interviews online using Enumerate AI’s proprietary agile qual methodology. The participants were asked about their experiences, challenges, and motivations related to family dinners.
Our study identified several factors that influenced the family dinner experience. These included the perceived value of family dinners, time constraints, meal preparation, communication patterns during dinner, and the influence of technology. We found that the value of family dinners was perceived differently among the families, with some valuing it as an opportunity to connect and bond with family members, while others saw it as a chore. Time constraints were a common challenge faced by the families, with work schedules and extracurricular activities limiting the time available for family dinners. Meal preparation was also a significant factor, with some families finding it challenging to plan and prepare meals, while others enjoyed the process. Communication patterns during dinner varied among families, with some preferring a more relaxed and informal environment, while others valued structure and routine. The influence of technology was another factor that emerged from our study, with some families experiencing distractions from mobile phones, TVs, and other devices during dinner.
Our study provides valuable insights into the factors that influence the family dinner experience. The findings highlight the importance of understanding the needs and preferences of families and developing strategies that encourage and support the family dinner experience. The results of this exploratory research can serve as a foundation for further research in this area and help food manufacturers and marketers develop products and campaigns that promote family dinners.
Highlights / Excerpt from the research
What are your biggest challenges and frustrations around grocery shopping, in general and in specific regards to needs for family dinner?
The respondents' biggest challenges and frustrations around grocery shopping are the rising prices of goods, difficulty in finding products that are needed, and having to go to multiple stores to find everything on the list. In regards to family dinner, the respondents noted that it is difficult to find healthy and affordable foods that their kids will also enjoy eating. Another frustration is that sometimes the same meals are cooked over and over again because it is hard to come up with new ideas.
“Given in terms of prioritisation order”
I Think the biggest frustration is the rising prices of Goods, I mean it's place inflation is so crazy. I mean everything you see in the store is really way pricey So he need to be careful in choosing the products, you know And sometimes you have to get them and they are on sale or just save some box.
I personally love to go to the grocery store but sometimes lately there may be items that are not available. Sometimes things are out of stock, long lines, so I try to use curbside or delivery but sometimes even that's a challenge. And so sometimes curbside you still have to wait or there's still items not available and it has to be substituted. So those are the kinds of things that we have a challenge with. Hopefully the availability of items have become a challenge over the last couple of years.
Challenges is actually getting out of the house and going to the store. And if I take children, we end up taking a very long time at the store. These challenge frustration on grocery shopping. And then I buy a lot of groceries, but then can't figure out how to make them into a meal that people will eat. They like a lot of snacks. Or if I buy produce, usually I buy the produce they will eat, but if they don't like that, if it's off for some reason, I end up throwing it away. So that's frustrating if it doesn't get used.