Prepared food purchases from supermarkets, drug stores, and other retail outlets will grow 10 percent by 2022 compared to a 4 percent increase in restaurant visits, according to a new forecast by The NPD Group.  “A Look Into the Future of Foodservice” also found consumers of all age groups make use of home meal replacements.

More specifically, NPD found those aged 35 and older are more likely than 18- to 34-year-olds to buy prepared foods for dinner, while young adults (18-24) prefer prepared foods for snacks, and seniors (65-plus) look for such items for lunch.  Younger adults more often buy pizza, hot dogs, and burgers, but also prefer non-fried chicken to fried chicken. Chicken, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and sandwiches are the most popular home meal replacement items at retail.

Over the next decade, the changing needs of different demographic groups–including aging Baby Boomers and more adults in their 30s shopping for prepared foods–present opportunities for retailers, said NPD.

“Capturing visits from direct competition, like prepared foods retailers, has been the primary source for a restaurant operator’s growth over the past ten years and this will continue to be the case,” Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst, said in a statement. “Efforts to pull consumers out of their homes and back into restaurants will require touting the benefits of eating out vs. staying at home and cooking or eating meals offered by home meal replacement retailers.”