Consumers Entertaining at Home

July 27/Chicago/Business Wire -- In a recently completed study, Technomic found that over a third of consumers (36%) report they are entertaining at home more often than a year ago. Only 13% said they are doing so less often.

"Consumers tell us that they are enjoying reconnecting with friends in their homes," says Melissa Wilson, Technomic principal. "The appeal is tied to socializing in a very casual atmosphere where everyone brings a dish to share, often sourced from local restaurants or food retailers."

The findings come from Technomic's "POP: Parties Off Premise" study, a detailed evaluation of consumer catering opportunities for restaurants and food retailers. From box lunches and party platters to parties complete with off-site food preparation, catering is one of the strongest segments of the foodservice industry and appears somewhat immune from recessionary spending cut-backs.

Related findings include: Over the next year, 40% of consumers expect to entertain at home more often, in order to socialize with friends and family. In terms of sourcing food for these occasions, restaurant usage is comparable to the use of retailers (68% versus 69%, respectively). More than half of consumers (53%) reported buying platters and other prepared foods for the recent Fourth of July holiday, the largest holiday usage for these type of purchases after Christmas (66%) and Thanksgiving (61%).

To learn more about the "POP: Parties Off Premise" study, including additional details about business-building implications contained in the report, please contact Melissa Wilson at 312-506-3707, or

From the August 3, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition