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Economic Slowdown Seen Resulting in More Americans Eating at Home

Charlotte, NC — Americans are tightening their wallets and changing behaviors in response to the country’s recent economic slowdown – and one convenience they are reducing compared to a year ago is going out to eat.

So concludes the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence’s (RICKI) latest research study, “Remodelers 360,” a survey that examined consumers’ kitchen design preferences and kitchen remodeling experiences, as well as how they currently use their kitchens.

According to RICKI, headquartered here, the most often-cited activity that takes place in the kitchen, mentioned by two-thirds of respondents (65%) is eating or planning meals.

However, when people were asked if they eat at home more or less often now than they did a year ago compared to eating at restaurants or getting take-out, 43% said they eat at home more now. In contrast, only 11% reported they are eating at home less than they were 12 months ago, RICKI said.

“While convenience is still king for today’s busy families, a sizeable proportion are foregoing some conveniences such as commercially prepared meals, likely as a result of cutting back on overall household expenses due to the downturn in the economy,” observed RICKI Executive Director Brenda Bryan. “Although restaurant meals have become a major part of the American diet, it’s still considered a luxury to some people and an easy way to save money.”

Americans who are even more likely to stay home for meals now compared to a year ago are those with children living at home, those under the age of 45, people who reside in multi-family homes, and those with a combined annual household income of less than $100,000.

“Even Gen X and Gen Y are eating at home more now,” said Bryan, adding that only one demographic group – singles – eats at restaurants more now than a year ago.

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