Consumer Needs Vary When It Comes to Dining at Home: National Pork Board’s Research Defines 9 Specific Dinner Events

Consumer Needs Vary When It Comes to Dining at Home: National Pork Board’s Research Defines 9 Specific Dinner Events

May 1, 2019
TrendsRetail Industry Insights

By Charlotte Rommereim, RDN, LN, LD, Farm to Fork Communications, National Pork Board Consultant

Today’s consumer is living and eating differently. In busy, hectic lives, dinnertime is no longer the traditional family sit-down of day’s past.  Retail dietitians can be better equipped to lead shoppers on the journey to healthier eating patterns if they have insight into how consumers eat and plan for today’s mealtime. The National Pork Board invested in a consumer research initiative to move beyond spending data and take a comprehensive look at how Americans eat. Welcome to Dinner at Home in America. 

The research uncovered nine unique dining occasions happening in homes on any given night of the week. These mealtimes range from convenient eating for one to a celebratory dinner emphasizing family, flavor and fun. As their needs throughout the week change, the same person may experience multiple types of dining occasions, spilling into meal preparation and menu and recipe development. 

For each dining occasion, the report identifies the most frequent protein choices and needs that drive the dinner occasion. Insight into the pork cuts that best meet the needs of the dining occasion, ideas for innovation and thought starters for the retail industry provide growth opportunities for pork. In addition, this insight is useful to retail dietitians to provide inspiration, knowledge, strategy and advice on healthy eating.  

As the food and nutrition expert, the retail dietitian is uniquely positioned to change consumer behaviors and drive pork consumption in three opportunities identified by the National Pork Board. 

  • Make it simple: Highlight pork as an easy, go-to choice by providing guidance in meal planning and preparation of lean pork.
  • Promote health benefits: The nutrition benefits of pork can be clear and top of mind for the shopper with in-store messaging from the dietitian.  
  • Versatility: Cooking demos and recipes to emphasize how lean, nutritious pork meets the needs of everyone in the household and is adaptable to the flavor craving of the family – from Mexican, Italian, barbeque or others. 

According to FMI U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2018, the top action shoppers would like their retail store to make is to provide recipes.  This may not be a literal request for recipes, but indicates that shoppers need guidance to quickly choose and translate ingredients into a healthy meal.1 With the insight from Dinner at Home in America research, the retail dietitian can provide guidance for the shopper in healthy eating whatever their dining occasion. 

For more information on the National Pork Board’s Dinner at Home in America research, or to download the full report, visit

1 Source: FMI U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, 2018.