By: David Fikes, Executive Director, FMI Foundation
Are you ready for some good news? Our research partners at Harris Poll have again performed a post-Family-Meals-Month survey measuring just how effective we were at urging people to “Stay Strong with Family Meals.” We are pleased to report that thanks to the outstanding promotional efforts of our participating partners in 2022, almost one-in-three Americans (31%) saw or heard Family Meals Month messaging this year. Our message penetration numbers ran deeper among the younger audiences with a reach of 53% in the 18–34-year-old age group and 39% among 35–44-year-olds. Gen Z and Millennial males proved to be an especially attentive group to family meals promotions.
Nationwide, we had a relatively even distribution with comparable numbers reported in the Northeast, South, and Midwest. However, in the West, message reception ran about 5% points higher than the rest of the nation. Across age, income, region, or ethnicity demographics, social media and television proved to be the most effective media outlets.
While all these numbers are impressive, our most compelling stats tell a story of effective communicating. Of those who heard the Family Meals message, a whopping 91% reported taking positive action. People did not just hear the words; they acted on what they heard. Of those who were exposed to family meals messaging:
- 46% made healthier food choices
- 45% cooked more meals at home
- 39% ate together as a family more
- 34% used new recipes
- 33% purchased more fruits and vegetables
- 27% started meal planning
- 24% purchased meal solutions to make cooking easier
At a time when many consumers are worried about inflation and stretching their food dollars, it is important to note that of those who heard about family meals, nine out of ten (91%) consider the home meal more economical than eating out. Even beyond the economic considerations, the multilayered benefit message of family meals resonates with consumers; of those who saw the family meals promotion, 83% plan to have more family meals because they have positive mental health benefits, 83% believe they help their family stay connected, and 82% consider them to have positive health benefits.
These numbers reflecting such positive energy about family meals do not just magically happen, but require the concerted and creative efforts of more than 200 retail, supplier, and community collaborating partners. As a means of recognizing the outstanding efforts of our partners and friends, the FMI Foundation created the Gold Plate Awards to acknowledge the best of the best programs created to advance the noble cause of family meals. We invite you to continue shining a light on your innovative efforts to help Americans stay strong with family meals by nominating your organization’s program for the FMI Foundation's 2022 Gold Plate Awards. Nominations are due November 1, 2022. Click the button below to be taken to the nomination form.