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Brexit could change our eating



Brexit could change our eating

“The UK voted to leave the European Union on June 23rd. For better or worse we’ve ‘Brexited’. What is definite though is that we’ve entered a period of uncertainty which has led to a drop in consumer confidence. Such a lack of confidence in the past has led to us reigning in our spending and reversing some long standing consumer trends. Eating out, trying new products, and choosing foods for health reasons all suffered in similar circumstances. Such trend reversals may happen again but as has been quoted so many times in recent weeks ‘we’re sailing into unchartered waters’- Grenville Wall, Consumer Insight Director.

What do evening meals at home look like?

The majority (65%) of evening meals are adult only but these have remained flat whilst growth has come from occasions with both children and adults present (+1% YoY). With more children present, it is not surprising that 58% of evening meals are eaten between 5-7pm. Equally, the occasion is 27% more likely to have 3-4 people present than total occasions.

So who are the adult consumers at these evening meals? It is 45+ year olds who are stepping up to the plate, literally, with 46% share and +1% growth YoY. Whilst young adults (16-44), who make up 37% of evening meals, are becoming less engaged with the occasion, and their involvement has declined by 2% in the past year. Re-engaging these consumers will mean understanding what drives their consumption decisions andproviding offerings to meet their needs.

So what’s on the menu?

We are looking for easier and quicker options as convenience meals and those that use a cooking sauce or meal kit are the fastest growing cooking methods (both +5% YoY). This is reflected in the evening meal’s growing dishes, where sandwiches, pizza, burgers, and hot dogs are on the rise.

A convenient meal is all well and good, but as the nation’s focus on health increases, consumer behaviour is changing. Over the past year 104m extra evening meal servings have been chosen for health. For the evening meal it is less about cutting calories or having a lighter option. Instead, we are interested in our food being more natural/less processed, providing a portion of veg, and having wholesome benefits, all of which have the highest share of evening meal and are growing.

Winning brands will provide a time saving product for their consumers that meet these key needs. Avocado pasta sauce in a jar anyone?

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Giles Quick

Director, Usage


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