Consumers are attracted by its ease of use, variety and availability throughout the season. Precooked foods are convenient for people who cannot spend a lot of time preparing food, as well as for people with little or no cooking skills. Those who cannot hire a cook are also tempted to use precooked food. Prepared foods have become very popular, especially among working-class people, teenagers, people living in hostels, single people, shared rooms, etc.
Precooked foods are used to shorten the time needed to prepare meals at home. Some convenient foods can be eaten immediately or after adding a little water, heating or defrosting them. Understanding what motivates these consumers to buy precooked foods has important implications for public health, since prepared foods are often associated with lower nutritional value. While these precooked foods save time, they tend to have lower nutritional values and may be more expensive than foods that require more time to prepare.
Consumers' decisions about the amount of different types of convenience foods they buy are influenced by time constraints, prices, the food environment and financial resources. Ready-to-eat foods include many types of food, from bananas to frozen pizza, that require little or no preparation. This has led some people to believe that, in the near future, precooked foods will become widespread and will ultimately replace traditional foods and traditional cooking methods. On the other hand, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides program participants with funds to buy food at grocery stores and, as a result, SNAP participants tend to buy more food at grocery stores and less at restaurants than non-participants who are eligible for SNAP.
I agree that precooked foods will become more common, but I believe that they will never fully replace traditional ways of cooking and preparing food. Spending hours cooking food is something that most people around the world cannot afford, which is why precooked foods have become a savior in this regard. Households where all adults are employed buy 12 percent less ready-to-eat food in grocery stores and 72 percent more food in full-service restaurants than households where not all adults are employed.