Family meals a thing of the past?

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 2nd April 2008

A study, commissioned by food manufacturer Continental, has found Australian families are struggling to find time for a home-cooked family meal. With average working hours and the number of double-income households rising, the time spent cooking has fallen while the time of dinner has become later. Almost a quarter of the families surveyed did not eat together on a regular basis and starting home-cooked meals from scratch was becoming less likely. The traditional family dinner is increasingly being replaced by a trip to a restaurant.

Ready-to-eat meals are expected to continue to surge in popularity and it might not be long before Australia’s supermarkets begin to look like their counterparts in England, where ready-to-eat food fills up most of the shelves. As Australians gradually look to supermarkets for all their food shopping needs, the local specialist shop will find it harder to compete. England has seen specialist stores decline at such a rate that by 2050 there could be none left and Australia might not be too far behind unless specialist stores re-invent themselves as some bakery and butchers have done to compete with grocery chains.