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What’s the recipe for success at dinner?

If you’re reading this, the answer is likely, “Sell more pork!”

But if you’re in charge of making dinner for a family – particularly one with younger children at the table – there often is no recipe for success. As you saw in the Dinner at Home in America report, the Familiar Family Dinner occasion is all about quick, convenient, and satisfying.

It’s the path of least resistance. The cook wants to put something on the table that everyone will eat, so they’ve likely made it several times before. It’s cooking on auto-pilot. Given that, these stats from the research aren’t all that surprising:

  • Two-thirds chose a dinner option because they
    don’t have to give it much thought.”
  • More than half didn’t use a recipe
  • One in four used a go-to recipe
  • 94 percent used meats they already had on hand
Those who are grocery shopping for these occasions are creatures of habit. They buy the same meat they always buy, and prepare it the same way they always do. And usually, that meat is ground beef or chicken.

So how do we get families to add pork to the cart when they’re planning for Taco Tuesday or Spaghetti night?

We have to meet them in the meat case, and satisfy their top needs. For Familiar Family Dinners, cooks are looking for options that are:

  • Quick (67%)
  • Easy to prepare (77%)
  • Something everyone will eat it (87%)

Admittedly, it can be a challenge to get a shopper to break their routine, but it’s not impossible.

According to Numerator Insights data, stock-up trips to the grocery store account for 39 percent of fresh meat sales, while quick-fill trips account for another 27 percent.

But research from Mintel reveals that more than half of shoppers filling their carts in these trips aren’t sticking to their shopping lists, and buying products they didn’t intend to buy.

If we can put convenient pork options in front of them, we have an opportunity to break into their routine.

What’s that look like?

For starters, on-package messaging or in-store signage that highlights how pork fits with flavors that kids enjoy – Italian sausage in the spaghetti sauce?  Ground or shredded pork in those tacos? You bet! Easy cooking is key, so “pan-ready” options are better positioned for success.
While chops are the protein choice only 5% of the time for Familiar Family Dinners, the occasion over-indexes on pork chop usage (151) compared to other dining occasions.

The takeaway? Chops are perceived by consumers eating in this occasion as easy to prepare and affordable, but they’re not typically kept on hand. There’s likely a play for a smaller portion package – four chops, instead of 10 to 12.

Want a bit more context on Familiar Family Dinners? Check out our brief video webinar!

Watch the webinar!

Want to put the data to the test?
I can help you craft an action plan.

Angie Krieger

Angie Krieger

Assistant Vice President, Channel Outreach

National Pork Board Cell: 319-594-4000 akrieger@pork.org