The Whole Story: Mealtime Media

With the “digital revolution” of recent years and obvious proliferation and use of media devices in different situations, you’d be forgiven for wondering about the extent to which “TV dinners” really are about TV these days.

In order to investigate this question — and to put it in the context of breakfast and lunch, we conducted an analysis of USA TouchPoints data to understand the relative reach of key media in the different period relevant to those meals.

More specifically, we looked at which media were used during the same 30-minute period that people reported preparing and / or eating a meal within those “mealtime windows."

11-6• Looking first at TV, it is clear it is not only the dominant media choice at 25% average weekday reach among those using media while preparing and eating a meal in the dinner period, it also leads for breakfast
and lunch. The fact that TV leads in the dinner period is not in itself surprising, but perhaps the fact that it leads the next-most-used media by a multiple of five may give cheer to the TV community, though not to others.

• For breakfast and lunch, the margin between TV and the other media analyzed is less marked but still significant. Some of this is likely attributable to the fact that many people eat these meals at home. Also, that during the period when actually eating, some media are less practical to use as one’s hands are occupied.

• Mobile of course is the “universal interrupt”. As people receive calls, emails etc. many inevitably check them straight away. So even though the mobile phone is a hands-on device and theoretically not best suited to
use while people eat, it is still gaining traction. This is especially true at lunch time, when more people may be lunching at work, QSRs etc.

• Further analysis of the periods leading up to and following moments when people eat their meal — especially in the evening — would perhaps show an increase in the reach of the computer, the mobile and also print.



1 comment about "The Whole Story: Mealtime Media".
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  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 2, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.

    Solo meal eaters are probably the most TV screen watchers while dining. Silence is not on our present radar.

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