June 15, 2017


Shoppers participating in Tyson Foods' studies share how prepared foods influence quality family time around the table.

Over the past few months we have met several families participating in Tyson Foods' Prepared Foods Challenge4 in our Exclusive :60 series. We've followed along as they made dinner every night for a week using prepared foods from local grocery stores. We've seen their dissatisfaction all the way from the deli case to the table and watched as they tried to assemble a meal without any real plan. And we've also noticed that the failure of the deli to provide a satisfying meal experience to these families is reflected across the board in other Tyson Foods studies. In fact, nearly half of thousands of prepared foods shoppers participating in recent Tyson Foods' studies had general complaints about their grocers' prepared foods departments or specific issues with products or staff. Even shoppers who were loyal to a particular store gave failing marks for that store's prepared foods department3.

More specifically, participants said that while their goals for the dinner hour were that their food should taste good and satisfy, but also that those physical needs are only part of the triggers that lead to a satisfying meal experience. For many, dinner acts as closure, or even as a reward, for surviving a busy day. They aspire to make dinner a calm and relaxing part of the day1,2. For parents, it is also an opportunity to model healthy and positive behaviors for their children. Participants generally agreed that prepared foods do satisfy core needs such as ease of preparation and saving time; and can offer a solution when there is no dinner plan. But they also confessed they often opt for take-out over their grocer's prepared foods because "nothing ever looks or sounds good."

And that disconnect is where we found the families of Tyson Foods' Prepared Foods Challenge4 in the first installment of our Exclusive :60  series. Next, we learned how some education and inspiration could make a big difference in how they viewed prepared foods and used them in conjunction with other SKUs in the grocery store to develop a convenient meal solution.

In this month's Exclusive :60, we'll revisit the Ramirez family, and meet the Schnurr family. We'll watch as they use prepared foods to make satisfying meals, but even more remarkable, how they connect with each other by creating meals together as a family and then share a satisfying meal experience together that they'll want to repeat again and again.

All of the families participating in Tyson Foods' Prepared Foods Challenge have helped illustrate how changing the conversation about prepared foods can make a big difference in the way they think about their grocer's prepared foods departments. Check out this month's Exclusive :60 and discover how you can start changing the conversation with your shoppers, too.


1 Tyson Foods, On the Go Study, 2015
2 Tyson Foods, Emotional Trigger Study, 2016
3 Tyson Foods, Consequences of Failure, 2015 and 2016
4 Tyson Foods, Prepared Foods Challenge, June 2016