London (November 10, 2021) — Mars Food UK has published its Dinnertime Matters report as part of its ongoing campaign to champion shared meals and encourage more people to eat together.
This follows on from other activities over the last three years to make Dinnertime Matter, including the strategic partnership with the Trussell Trust and a virtual roundtable co-hosted with the food bank network in 2020 looking at COVID-19 impact on food insecurity and shared meals.
This new report has been created using secondary research as well as using interviews with contributors including The Trussell Trust, FoodCycle, FareShare, and Family Action. It explores the landscape around shared mealtimes, the barriers that exist, and how we can overcome them.
The report identifies the benefits of shared mealtimes for several reasons - including improving, mental health, wellbeing and community cohesion – and that these benefits are not fully recognized and more needs to be done to understand and educate people on them. It also highlights that several barriers exist to shared meals, ranging from poverty and resource poverty, a lack of food education and skills and knowledge when it comes to cooking.
Further research on 1,000 6–16-year old's commissioned by Mars Food has found youngsters typically want to eat dinner with their parents at home. Even if they were given the option of dining with celebs, they'd opt to stay with their family.* This demonstrates the important role dinner can play supporting healthy family relationships.
Additionally, almost half (41%) of children said their favorite activity during shared mealtimes was chatting with family. Homemade pizza, was found to be a favorite meal for kids to enjoy at home.**
This research further indicates that shared mealtimes offer an opportunity for friends and family to bond over meals at the dinner table. Mars Food’s Dinnertime Matters report calls on more of us to make the time to sit down and eat with the people who matter most to us. Recognizing this, Mars Food have recently launched a program to support its Associates to Switch Off For Dinner.
Mars Food will use these findings to encourage more research, discussion and collaboration to better understand the benefits of shared meals, how we can promote these and remove the barriers that are stopping us getting together around the dinner table.
Dave Dusangh, Regional General Manager Mars Food Europe & Russia: “At Mars Food, we believe in the benefits of shared mealtimes. We hope to share these insights through this report, to enable a much-needed conversation on how we can remove some of the barriers that exist today. If we can enable more people to enjoy shared dinnertimes, we can help to improve the social, mental and physical health and wellbeing of the UK, one plate at a time.”
Mars Food have commissioned this research as part of their campaign to make dinnertimes matter. The company is calling on others to join them in finding ways to make shared dinnertimes a weekly routine for everyone. Read the full report here.
About Mars Food:
Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With over $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 115,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.