Both convenience and safe, sustainable packaging are top of mind for food shoppers, according to the new Ready-to-Eat Report from good natured.
Since the beginning of the year, 72% of the 1,000 American adults surveyed for the report said they’ve been regularly buying or increasing their consumption of ready-to-eat meals, meal kits, and takeout food and delivery. Seven in 10 cited convenience as the top reason for buying such meals at grocery stores, followed by time savings (40%) and cost savings (21%).
Reducing time spent on meal prep and cooking frees up time for family and fun activities and is the reason nearly 70% of consumers chose convenient meal options. More than half of respondents said they’re purchasing hot and cold ready-to-eat meals at the grocery store so they can have meals for one and have easy side dishes for home cooked meals.
But packaging plays a significant role in the foods they buy. Food freshness was the most important consideration for 73% of respondents when buying food from stores and restaurants, and 86% said being able to see through the packaging to determine what the product looks like would make them more likely to buy it.
Most consumers (77%) also said they consider sustainable packaging important, and more than 40% felt it was the company’s responsibility for offering eco-friendly food packaging for their products. However, there’s some confusion about how to recycle or dispose of food packaging, and about 1 in 3 respondents who want to dispose or recycle packaging correctly aren’t sure how to do so.
For more insights, see the full Ready-to-Eat report.