July 08, 2018


Easing into the day's meals might seem light and breezy, but shoppers are now admitting a sense of dread when they are up against the afternoon dinner decision hour, especially when feeding guests or there’s no plan for dinner.

The participants of Tyson Foods’ Unconventional Shopper Connections (USC) experiment1 say dinner is particularly treacherous when company comes to the table. It’s worse when they have to feed their “foodie” friends who are up on all the latest food trends. They generally cited feelings of inability and inferiority when reflecting on feeding their dinner guests.

Previous Tyson Foods studies that focused on shoppers’ emotions2 concluded they want dinner to act as closure, or even as a reward, for surviving a busy day. Those participants felt the primary purpose of the meal should be to bookend quality time around the table and serve as the backdrop of the occasion instead of its focus. The food should support socialization instead of being the focus of stress and disappointment.  The participants of the current study said their two top stress-inducing eating occasions were cooking a quick meal on a timeline and feeding their “foodie” friends.

Some of the participants said they wouldn’t even try to cook for guests. Instead, they’d rather foot the bill by going out to a nice restaurant. Others would try to cook to impress, but felt uncomfortable about failing.

But, why should consumers feel they must choose between dining out and going outside of their comfort zones to prepare unfamiliar recipes that use high end-ingredients, stretch budgets and create more stress? Must they drown in a sea of compromise when it comes to navigating the most difficult meal of the day?


Instead, wouldn’t it be better if we encouraged shoppers to think of deli as an easy solution for stressful dinner situations?  When their dinner plans involve guests, shouldn’t we seize opportunities to remind shoppers of the many options prepared foods offer to solve the dilemma of feeding a crowd? Wouldn’t it be great if shoppers immediately thought of deli’s many offerings for last minute quick dinners when there is no time to prepare?

Deli to the Rescue for Stressful Dinner Situations
• Customizable – for any number of people
• Uncomplicated – easy to prep and serve
• Convenient – hot, fresh and ready at peak shopping times

It’s time for prepared foods to come to the rescue and revive the love of dinner again. Check out this month’s Exclusive :60 for three ideas you can use to rescue your shoppers from drowning in the dinner dilemma.