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The Food Marketing Institute launched the National Family Meals Month campaign as a way to instill family values and increase sales of at-home food purchases by suggesting that families add one more meal at home per week to their schedules.
According to a recent Harris Poll, among those who live with others, 87 percent of Americans sit down to family dinner at least once a week and roughly a third do so four to six nights a week or every night, according to the survey of 2,236 U.S. adults conducted March 16-21, 2016.
The study found that the most often cited reason by 29 percent of respondents for not eating dinner together more frequently is difficulty coordinating schedules. Meanwhile, 42 percent of people surveyed say they are perfectly content with the frequency with which they sit down to dinner together.
Interestingly – and feeding even more fuel to the importance of the Millennial influence over food – eating dinner together for more than three-quarters of Americans involves cooking from scratch. Given that this is more time consuming than picking up restaurant carryout or pre-prepared items at the grocery store on the way home, which 23 percent of respondents said they do, many families rely on teamwork to get dinner on the table.
Specifically, the poll found, 65 percent of American say getting dinner on the table is a family affair.
The survey also found that what people are eating for dinner is changing. Nearly 80 percent say what they prepare is now healthier, and 86 percent say that family eating together is more important than where the food comes from.