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Fighting for the family meal

Fighting for the family meal

As one who realizes now that the majority of big decisions I’ve made during my life were shaped by conversations around the family dinner table, I honor the formative power of the family meal. I know it is the food that draws us together, but I believe strongly that it's the connections we make while eating together that keep us together and provide the opportunity to share our lives.

It seems a bit ironic — somewhat akin to needing my eye glasses in order to search for my eye glasses — but I find that the faster my world spins, the more I crave the time to reflectively process my day with my family around a meal together. Yet, it's the family mealtime that is often the casualty of a faster paced world. The complex demands placed on every family member’s schedule mounts an assault on the very concept of the family's sitting down at the same table and at the same time to share a meal together. We eat in shifts; we eat while in transit to the next event; and even if we eat at the same time, it often is while our family members and we are in different places.

So, on one hand there are the benefits and the desire for more family meals; but on the other hand rests the reality of the clock, the calendar and the siren call of outside commitments. Families need help countering the temptation to forego the family meal. Those our industry serves need help in being the families they crave to be.

FMI is launching the FMI Family Meals campaign to bring our members together in a unified attempt to help our shoppers commit to and actually achieve the goal of adding one more family meal together per week than is their current norm. Retailers and suppliers can find a digital toolkit and other resources on the FMI Family Meals website.

In shaping the family meals message, which of the following benefits do you think resonates the strongest with consumers: family members are healthier; family meals deliver a better economic value; family mealtime provides excellent educational opportunities; family mealtime offers documented societal rewards; or even other attributes?

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